Thursday, 13 August 2015

Torotrak sees JCB as ‘ideal partner’

Torotrak and JCB are working on a three-year £1,100,000 project to move the technology company’s Flybrid system know-how towards TRL8 readiness level.
JCB is one of the world's top three manufacturers of construction equipment. It employs around 12,000 people on four continents and sells products in 150 countries through 2,000 dealer depot locations.The privately-owned company has invested heavily in research and development to keep JCB at the cutting edge of innovation.

According to Torotrak, which in 2014 earned revenues of £3.779 million to record revenue/employee of only £41,527 against £46,315 in 2013, integration of its Flybrid technology with JCB’s off-highway hydraulic system, has “opened up a range of possible machine integration options” to reduce emissions and fuel economy consumption whilst improving productivity.

With its worldwide presence and total annual revenues across the group in excess of £2.5 billion, Torotrak declares in its latest annual report that JCB is “an ideal partner to design, develop and commercialise Flybrid flywheel systems for their off-highway machines."

Following a  period of “resetting the strategic focus of the group to commercialise its technology”, new Torotrak chief executive officer Adam Robson sees Torotrak’s key markets as being bus, off-highway and passenger car with KERS (kinetic energy recover systems) and V-Charge appearing to have more prominence compared with the company’s original focus of development, namely infinitely variable transmissions (IVTs).

All Torotrak’s systems are mechanical as opposed to electrical solutions.

With annual new passenger car sales expected to reach 125 million in 2040, of which nearly half will be hybrids, Torotrak believes “that many of the best ways to meet the fuel efficiency challenges in vehicles today, and in the future, are using mechanical solutions. Our technologies are based around this belief; mechanical-based solutions can offer lower upfront and through-life costs, easier recyclability, lower environmental impact and, most importantly, better performance.”

The Torotrak Group reported cash and cash equivalents at the end of the 2014 financial year at £7.616 million compared with £6.132 million for the same period of 2013. It might be expected to achieve sales per employee of at least £100,000.

As of 31 July 2015, Aviva plc holds 11.35 per cent of Torotrak's shares; Jon Hilton has 10.17 per cent and Allison Transmissions Inc 9.72 per cent.  These are the three largest single shareholders. Hilton was managing Ddrector of Flybrid Automotive Ltd.

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