Government action to introduce electric vehicles is welcomed, but we would like to see the involvement of smaller UK companies which have been in the forefront of development for decades. It is traditionally, the so called ‘disruptive’ companies which have led the way with innovation and spurred changes in established industries, but the advent of global corporations working with central governments has led to a more top down approach. The Government proposes new measures for funding innovative companies in the consultation document entitled Financing a Private Sector Recovery. This points out that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engaged in the research, development and demonstration of new technologies experience the greatest difficulties in raising finance. They are therefore launching another consultation on the subject of low carbon technologies this autumn.
Reducing global warming gases
Much more needs to be done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some nations are promising to halve their carbon intensity but, if they are doubling the size of their operations, there will be no C02 reduction. Other countries are cutting their emissions by exporting their manufacturing to developing countries. Green MotorSport has been developing technologies which will actually cut carbon dioxide emissions. We have shown thousands of children how they will be able in future to power their electric vehicles by renewable energy, by electricity from solar, wind or wave power. Recently in the news there have been some controversial videos that have upset the public and put back the efforts of sound environmental campaigns to reduce climate change. If we are to reduce C02, we need more backing for the people on the ground, the engineers producing the technologies needed to cut emissions.
The Government’s £250 million consumer incentive programme to expedite the introduction of electric and plug-in hybrid passenger cars will provide a grant of up to £5,000 for each qualifying passenger car. There will also be support for the local authorities which are beginning to establish the electric vehicle recharging infrastructure. The Government could help to expedite the introduction of all innovative technologies by encouraging smaller scale manufacturing, in addition to their support for global automotive companies.
Some of the UK regions have given tremendous support to electric vehicles and it is important that their projects with electric vehicles and renewable energy continue to be supported when the Regional Development Agencies are replaced with Local Enterprise Partnerships. The introduction of Feed in Tariffs (FIT) will also encourage the installation of small scale solar panels and wind turbines to provide green electricity for electric vehicles. Developers of micro wind energy collectors, which operate in variable wind conditions, have also been held back by lack of funding and it is essential that the Government tackles the gap between R & D and bringing a new product to market. In his report to the new Government, Sir James Dyson said that a return to centralized planning is not the answer but policies should aim at moving the UK up the value chain. We need more scientists, engineers and designers who can turn ideas into working products, but after decades of de-industrialization there is a lot of ground to make up.
The collapse in manufacturing has seen employment in this sector fall from a third of the workforce to just over a tenth. Sir James highlights the need to move away from fixed policy notions about innovation occurring only in universities. Instead the focus must be spurring enterprise and innovation to develop the next generation of wealth creators - high tech companies and entrepreneurs across all sectors.
This is borne out by a report from the Government’s Foresight team of advisers on future energy. This states that current UK energy systems are characterized by ‘lock-in’ with certain technologies remaining dominant despite the existence of others that could meet current and future needs more effectively. It is not enough to make incremental changes to the existing energy infrastructure, but purposeful and strong action from the Government is required to overcome lock-in and open up the energy system to experimentation and new ideas.
The Government has set up the Green Investment Bank Commission to examine how best to fund new energy technologies. This estimates that an unprecedented investment of £550 billion will be required by 2020 to meet the UK’s climate change and renewable energy targets. It is proposed to issue Green Bonds to institutional investors, as well as Green ISAs. In the case of SMEs, the problem of the funding gap between R & D and bringing a product to market will have to be resolved if future investment is to go to the most effective energy technologies.
New technology for road vehicles
Most of the present effort is geared at making existing technologies more efficient and vast volumes of paper are used for technical reports. We need action now, we need production facilities to start building and using new technologies now! How efficient can the petrol engine be? With the conventional combustion engine only about 20% of the energy from the fuel you put in your tank gets used to move your car down the road or run useful accessories, such as air conditioning. The rest of the energy is lost in engine and driveline inefficiencies and idling. Therefore, the potential to improve fuel efficiency with electric motor technology is huge. For instance the electric motors convert 75% or more of the chemical energy from the batteries to power the wheels.
Green MotorSport’s efficient technology
The M1 motor is our flagship product, designed for demanding applications. It is a product of ongoing prototype development, leading to a cost effective electric motor for volume production. The motor can be used in several applications, for boats, sports utility vehicles or in our conversion packs to enable family vehicles to be changed to electric drive. Green MotorSport’s products are designed to achieve the highest quality and we ensure that every part of the package is cost effective. Our M1 motor is achieving excellent performance and we are now building our volume manufacturing facilities in order to meet the overwhelming amount of inquiries received for the product during the last year. For the heavier and larger electric car, The new GMS Dual power drivetrain module fits onto and interfaces with all existing vehicle systems. It also provides the user with complete diagnostic information. GMS believes that this is the best EV powertrain in pre-volume production that delivers such a high level of drive train efficiency due to its innovative design.
Green MotorSport is now almost in its 10th year since its incorporation on July 4th 2001. Green MotorSport continues to draw on motor sport innovations to assist with the development of our products. We believe the experience and know-how gained in racing gives our products the edge commercially. Racing is not just fun but essential to gaining solid results that filter down to viable technologies suitable for the mass automotive market. Accelerating the development of drive train technologies is essential, as time is running out for the switch to sustainable development. Green MotorSport’s technology can contribute to meeting global carbon reduction targets.