Bladon Jets receives funding for micro gas turbines

UK-based micro gas-turbine-engine developer Bladon Jets has raised £500,000 in a recent funding round from members of the Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION).

Bladon Jets is working with car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover on the development of a micro gas-turbine engine to operate in a plug-in hybrid car. A Jaguar C-X75 super car incorporating two Bladon Jets micro gas turbines was recently unveiled at the Paris Motor Show.

Bladon Jets micro gas turbines are suited to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The batteries in these vehicles will typically provide more than 50 miles of electric range, but the cars are also capable of travelling longer distances when using an on-board power generator to charge the batteries on the move. In the case of the Jaguar C-X75, its range is extended to 900km on a single tank of fuel by using the Bladon Jet micro gas turbines.

Indian multinational Tata recently announced that it too is making an investment in Bladon Jets for a minority shareholding. Chairman of Bladon Jets, Paul Barrett, said: ’We want to establish micro gas-turbine engines as the range-extending power source of choice for hybrid car manufacturers. But there is also significant potential for our micro gas turbines in combined heat-and-power units and other small-scale power-generating units, not least in India . Tata have many different divisions and we are looking forward to exploring the further opportunities for our technology.’

Bladon Jets also recently led a consortium that won a UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funding award for developing low-carbon vehicle technology. The £2.4m award is for the development of a turbine generator purposely designed for a car, and requires match funding. Bladon Jets will use the OION investment to help continue the TSB programme.

Jaguar’s eyebrow-raising turbine electric hybrid might just provide a glimpse of our automotive future. Click here to read more.