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Torotrak acquires 20% of Flybrid Automotive

ABR Staff Writer Published 19 March 2013

Transmission systems manufacturer and designer Torotrak has acquired 20% of Flybrid Automotive, in order to deliver first-to-market flywheel hybrids.

The transaction will help Torotrak to provide turnkey development and manufacture of complete flywheel hybrid systems for buses, trucks, passenger cars, commercial and off-highway vehicles.

With the new deal, the company aims to speed up its technology, which will be useful in fleet trials with bus operators later this year through an agreement with bus constructor Wrightbus.

Flybrid will use its carbon fibre flywheel spins, which rotates up to 60,000 rpm in a near-perfect vacuum drive and can be provided by the company's CFT clutch-based transmission system or by Torotrak's CVT (continuously variable transmission).

CFT KERS can supply up to 100 kW and 540 kJ of storage in a system that has a full wet weight, including the electro-hydraulic control system, of less than 40kg.

CFT KERS scales down very well so could open-up a new market for small, low-cost automotive hybrids

Torotrak CEO Jeremy Deering said the company's new deal allows it to accelerate the development of firm's M-KERS technology family, and will secure its access to market-ready flywheel system available.

"Flybrid's portfolio of development programmes includes Volvo Cars (which uses Torotrak's CVT), Wrightbus, two manufacturers of off-highway vehicles and several motorsport constructors," Deering said.