Cleaner car

Axon Automotive, the newly-formed Cambridgeshire car company, has raised £2.5m to help it fund the development of its 100mpg city-car.

Axon Automotive, the newly-formed Cambridgeshire car company, has raised £2.5m to help fund the development of its 100mpg city car, which it plans to launch in three years.

TTP, an independent technology development and incubation company, helped Axon secure the first round investment from an international green investor and the UK government, to progress the development of its Axon hatchback.

When they hit the roads, Axon’s cars will use current low-emission petrol engines and advanced transmission units. The company claims they will be in production years before hybrid or alternative-energy vehicles are available in large volumes.

Axon now plans to take its working prototype to full production and further develop the car’s carbon-fibre chassis – the key to its low-cost and lightweight, aerodynamic construction.

Dr Steven Cousins, founder and managing director of Axon Automotive, said: ‘Right now, I take this as a terrific vote of confidence in the British automotive industry, given the difficulties worldwide. Axon has a 2011 target for production vehicles and we’re really looking forward to getting on with the job.’
Over £2m of Axon’s current funding is from the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board, specifically to develop a plug-in hybrid version of the city car, which is expected to produce less than 60g of CO2/km.

Axon Automotive expects to raise a further £5m later this year as the city car moves towards initial production.

Based in Melbourn, near Cambridge, TTP specialises in clean tech, communications, medical products, digital printing, microdevices, optics, vision, consumer and industrial products. The company, established in 1987, employs 300 scientists and engineers.