When you pair up automakers like Jaguar, Land Rover and Ford, with hybrid powertrain developer Flybrid Systems, engineering consultants Prodrive and Ricardo and transmissions experts Torotrak and Xtrac, you'll either end up with a load of industry experts duking it out over some trivial aspect of a vehicle, or, as in this case, a collective group of like-minded people working at specialized companies that possess the ability to get 'er done.
This consortium, partially funded by the UK's Technology Strategy Board, displayed its jointly developed prototype flywheel hybrid system for premium vehicles (FHPV) at the Low Carbon Vehicle event held in the UK a few days ago. The FHPV system utilizes a flywheel developed by Flybrid System, a CVT built by Xtrac that incorporates Torotrak's traction drive technology and an integrated software system developed by Prodrive.

The system is expected to add up to 60kW of recovered energy and is predicted to demonstrate fuel economy gains of up to 20 percent. Testing of the FHPV system is already underway and Ford Motor Company is examining the possibly of adding the flywheel-CVT system to its future vehicles. In addition, Pete Richings, chief engineer for Jaguar-Land Rover, believes that implementation of the FHPV system could benefit the company, stating:
This research project explores the potential for more efficient and cost-competitive hybrid drivetrains that improve fuel economy while enhancing standards of vehicle refinement and performance. We have investigated the base technology, built the prototype and will be testing it in the next few months to see if it lives up to its potential.
A 20 percent boost in efficiency is certainly remarkable, but we'll hold back our final judgment on this one until testing either confirms or denies that impressive claim.

[Source: Green Car Congress]

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