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Zytek powertrains victorious in RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge

08 November 2011

At the recent RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge, three class wins and overall victory went to zero emissions vehicles powered by high-efficiency powertrains developed by Zytek in the UK. Ten of the 69 entrants were powered by Zytek’s family of electric engines. The award for the Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype) and the award for the Best Overall Pure Electric Vehicle, went to the Gordon Murray T.27.

Gordon Murray T.27
Gordon Murray T.27

This multi-award-winning three seat city car concept is powered by a lightweight, air-cooled 25kW Zytek electric engine and battery system, developed with financial support from the Technology Strategy Board.

The award for the Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Production) went to the smart fortwo electric drive, also powered by a Zytek electric engine. The 55kW powertrain modules are built at Zytek’s manufacturing site in Sutton Coldfield (near Birmingham), then exported to the smart production plant in Hambach (France) where Zytek operates a powertrain integration line parallel to the standard vehicle production line.

Zytek’s larger electric engine, the  70kW electric drive system that it currently exports to Navistar in the USA, powered two prototype Mercedes Vitos in the Light Commercial class.

“It was fantastic to see the T.27 scoop the top prize, confirming the outstanding achievement of the combined Zytek and Gordon Murray Design engineering teams who have achieved remarkable performance through a rigorous focus on efficiency and light weight. It’s a victory that shows the way forward for low energy transport,” commented Zytek Automotive managing director Neil Heslington. “This result topped a great day for Zytek, which was clearly the leading electric powertrain specialist at this prestigious event.”

The hard-work and skills of Zytek’s Midlands workforce was recently recognised by the UK government, which last week announced a £1.35M regional grant fund that will contribute to the considerable investments being made by Zytek in staff and facilities. As a direct result of this support, the company is actively recruiting 40 additional engineers to support the development of next-generation electric powertrains.

“Our business has grown over 50% in the last 24 months and we have several new products in development, including a project with Morgan to develop an electric prototype of the stunning Morgan supersports,” concluded Zytek Automotive sales and marketing director Steve Tremble. “This is the second year of the RAC London Future Car Challenge and the second year of Zytek victories. We’ll be back next year to try for a third year of successes!”

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