Fleet News

Energy Recovery System drives hybrid technology

A new hybrid system used by large fleets to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency has been awarded three Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards at the black-tie awards ceremony held this week. Developed by Ashwoods Automotive, the Hybrid Drive System won awards in the Power / Energy, Sustainability and Transport categories.

Demonstrating an innovation that not only has a significant impact on society but a financial impact at a business level, the Ashwoods Hybrid Drive System works by taking wasted energy from braking and decelerating and storing it to be used to assist vehicles when required. Designed as an alternative over low range, high cost Electrical Vehicles, the Ashwoods Hybrid Drive System is fully commercialised and used by over 35 companies including Royal Mail, BT, TFL and NHS.

The Hybrid Drive System was designed and built in Exeter, Devon with the installation, servicing and maintenance now carried out by a nationwide network of dealers who subsequently sell the system. The company has also fostered academic relationships with Bristol and Bath Universities to encourage open innovation and as a result has created an innovative Hybrid Simulation and Modelling Suite for this purpose.

The vehicles currently in operation using the system are estimated to save 356 tonnes of carbon per year and Ashwoods Automotive confirm that as more customers adopt the technology, the fuel savings made will continue to contribute to high CO2 savings in general. Funding from the Technology Strategy Board has been instrumental for Ashwoods to develop their hybrid technologies and expand their product portfolio.

The IET Innovation Awards recognise the most creative companies operating within a wide variety of engineering and technology disciplines, with 15 categories including asset management, telecommunications and product design.

Upon receiving the award, Martin Kadhim, business development, Ashwoods Automotive said, “To even have been nominated in categories with some of these fantastic companies is a real honour. We’ve tirelessly developed our technologies for commercial purposes, not just for innovation’s sake, we’ve taken this product from innovation to commercialisation and it’s great to be recognised in this way.”

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