Torotrak CEO, Jeremy Deering, left, shows UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, the V-Charge boost

Torotrak CEO, Jeremy Deering, left, shows UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, the V-Charge boost

Torotrak says the downsizing engine sector could represent up to 80% of the car market by 2020 as ever-more stringent CO2 regulations and high fuel prices continue to exert pressure.

The supplier made the comments at yesterday's (18 February) launch of the UK government-backed manufacturing initiative, The Proving Factory, in which Torotrak is one of the lead partners aiming to bring low-carbon technologies to market and which involves funding of around GBP12m (US$18.5m) via the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).

Torotrak was showing its V-Charge boosting device at the launch event and demonstrated its capabilities to UK Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, who attended The Proving Ground's site at Tata Steel's Brinsworth plant in the northern England town of Rotherham.

"The downsizing engine market is growing massively," Torotrak CEO, Jeremy Deering, told just-auto. "It could penetrate 80% of the car market by 2020.

"This little device is dead simple, it varies the boost efficiency. We can see some niche applications here, we are really excited about it.

"This [The Proving Factory] is a really good initiative from the government. This is absolutely what is needed. It is helpful having a privately-run company - it is practical and pragmatic."

Torotrak inked the collaboration agreement with Tata Steel UK, MIRA and consultants, Productiv, which are the lead partners in The Proving Factory and which will see them benefit from shared development, manufacturing and quality processes. 

Torotrak is one of a small group of founding member developers that will work with the lead partners and others including Jaguar Land Rover, Schaeffler and the Manufacturing Technology Centre. 

The Proving Factory will collaborate with Torotrak to create production-ready, validated design and then take this from prototype and pilot production through to medium volume manufacturing.  

"The Proving Factory allows us to supply lower volumes into the market ahead of Tier 1 production, but at the same high quality standards, providing access to high volume markets such as V- Charge," said Deering.

"In certain parts of our business, where volumes are lower but values are higher, we aim to build a business based on supplying product entirely through Torotrak or a nominated manufacturer. For example, we currently see substantial opportunities with M-KERS in the urban bus and delivery vehicle markets where we are progressing towards fleet trials."

The Proving Factory should allow capacity of up to 20,000 units of manufacturing capacity per annum.  Higher volumes will then be targeted at licensed manufacturing arrangements.  

"Projects like this are forcing people to put their money where their mouth is," said Deering. "It is not just turning up for a hand-out.

"Manufacturing is not just about outsourcing. The UK has underestimated perhaps in the past the know-how of manufacturing."