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21 June, 2011 - 11:57 By News Desk

Cambridge car does 1,325 miles on a gallon of diesel

Kitty Foster tests the small proof-of-concept car

Cambridge Design Partnership has contributed to a specialist vehicle capable of travelling 1,325 miles on a single gallon of diesel.

The small proof-of-concept car was put through its paces by an 11 year old Cambridgeshire girl in partnership with a local school at the annual Mileage Marathon Challenge at Mallory Park.

The initiative is intended to promote engineering and technology to school and college students as well as eco-friendly vehicle concepts.

CDP has reused elements of its own Lightweight Oxygen Concentrator, as well as various other technologies developed in-house, to aid the car’s development.

As Business Weekly reported earlier this year, CDP originally designed an oxygen-generator system to deliver oxygen to injured frontline soldiers. This system, powered by an innovative micro-diesel-engine, removed the need to take heavy and potentially explosive oxygen canisters onto the battlefield. The project involved Cambridge Design Partnership’s evaluation of a variety of miniature engines, one of which was selected to power this remarkable new vehicle.

The car also features low friction tyres to increase mileage and was tracked using Cambridge Design Partnership’s ‘Go’ real-time tracking service. The Go technology allows live tracking to be integrated into products and services easier than ever before, and has previously been used to track the Tour of Britain cycle race and promotional vehicles for a novel marketing campaign around Paris.

In this case, the live telemetry provided by Go allowed the team to optimise the race strategy for the eco-car, adding an impressive 150mpg to the specialist vehicle.  It also made it more interesting for supporters, allowing them to see the live speed and location of the car using their Smartphone from wherever they happened to be.

The vehicle was driven by local schoolgirl Kitty Foster, 11, of Kings School, Ely.

“When I told my parents how far this car could go on a gallon of fuel they were absolutely amazed!” Kitty said. “Actually, it wasn’t too hard. The Go system helped me use as little fuel as possible. It monitored the car’s performance which helped us know when to stop the engine and start coasting.

“The GPS information made a big difference and added 150 mpg. The whole car was great fun to drive. It’s good to see cars getting more environmentally friendly, and I’m really pleased we’ve done so well in the challenge’.

Stephen Lamb, the MoD project leader from CDP added: “This is about more than just an ultra-eco-friendly car. This supports what our technologies can achieve.

“We quickly realised that our R & D work for the MoD, creating an oxygen generator, was highly applicable to the Mileage Marathon Challenge. Both required an extremely efficient system that used very low power and could run off diesel. Now I just need to figure out how to make my own car get the same kind of mileage!”

CDP said the project underlined the potential of the oxygen generator as a product for military and humanitarian applications. Where electricity is not readily available, for example on the battlefield, diesel can be a highly convenient form of power.

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