Carbon reduction firm buys its first technologies
Controlled Power Technologies Limited – a new company formed a year ago by senior automotive executives to focus on carbon reduction issues – has completed its first major acquisition of CO2 reducing vehicle technologies.
Asset and technology acquisitions from Visteon Corporation, together with the signing of associated licensing and collaboration agreements with Switched Reluctance Motors Limited, give the new company immediate access to a portfolio of production-ready and near-term solutions to the problem of automotive CO2 reduction. In addition, the Essex company is aware of comparable and complementary carbon reducing technologies within other areas of the industry, where approaches will be pursued and similarly considered where appropriate. Controlled Power Technologies was formed to bring together the expertise in powertrain, power electronics and control software required for developing and commercialising much needed carbon-reducing technologies, now actively being sought by vehicle manufacturers. It comes with the backing of a highly experienced team of industry executives and is funded by a number of prominent investors specialising in the energy and environmental sectors. “Following publication of the Stern Report, King Interim Review and EU legislative proposals to limit average CO2 automotive emissions from 2012, the need for carbon abatement is rapidly growing in importance,” said the company’s chief executive Nick Pascoe. “Coupled with increasing fuel prices, company car tax determined by CO2 emissions and increasing costs of diesel powertrains, there is now stronger demand than ever before for cost-effective fuel-efficient technologies.” The acquisition from Visteon covers a family of low carbon powertrain related products already at an advanced stage of development. These include an electronically-controlled supercharger, a stop-start system and an exhaust energy recovery system. All of the products utilise switched reluctance electric motor technology delivering ‘micro-hybrid’ vehicle functionality. “Switched reluctance motor and control technology is uniquely well suited to the demanding requirements of these new automotive applications,” said engineering director Guy Morris. “The technology provides robust, reliable and compact solutions with excellent energy efficiency and controllability as well as low manufactured costs.” Morris and Dr Richard Quinn have both transferred from Visteon to join the Controlled Power Technologies management team. A number of other employees have also had previous involvement in the origination of the technologies being acquired. A key part of the acquisition arrangements is the transfer to the company of licensing and technical development agreements with Switched Reluctance Drives Limited (SRDL) – a UK company and wholly owned subsidiary of St Louis based Emerson Electric Company. The new business will continue and extend the technical relationship previously established between Visteon and SRDL. As well as the intellectual property, the acquisition from Visteon includes an advanced development facility at Westmayne. Located near Basildon in Essex, the 1,500m2 facility is well equipped for implementing vehicle application projects for vehicle manufacturers and leading Tier 1 suppliers with whom the facility already has a number of strong relationships. The acquisition includes prototype hardware, demonstration vehicles, product-specific development tools and test equipment. “These technologies can help address a large and growing mass market need,” says Pascoe. “Two years ago the market had little interest in carbon reducing technologies and fuel economy. Today they’re screaming out for it. But it takes time for the vehicle manufacturers to select, implement and launch appropriate solutions. “Our technology has years of product development behind it and is either ready or almost ready for production. Approximately 20 million vehicles will be built and sold in Europe this year and 70 million or more will be produced globally. That’s a lot of CO2 emissions and a lot of vehicles needing cost-effective carbon reducing technologies.”