TSB invests in electric vehicles

A consortium led by micro gas turbine company Bladon Jets has secured investment from the Technology Strategy Board to develop an Ultra Lightweight Range Extender (ULRE) for next-generation electric vehicles.

The objective of the consortium, which includes luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover and leading electrical machine company SR Drives, is to produce the world’s first commercially viable – and environmentally friendly – gas-turbine generator specifically for automotive applications.

Backing for the project was secured in a hotly contested £15m funding competition organised by the Technology Strategy Board to support the advancement of the mass adoption of low-carbon vehicles.

The ULRE will incorporate a Bladon Jets patented axial-flow gas turbine engine coupled to a high-speed generator using SR Drives’ proprietary switched-reluctance technology.

Design of the ULRE’s packaging for integration into the vehicle will be overseen by engineers at Jaguar Land Rover.

Paul Barrett, executive chairman at Bladon Jets, said: ‘Winning this Technology Strategy Board award is a really significant event for Bladon Jets and for the future of low-carbon vehicle development in the UK.

‘We are delighted to be working with our partners Jaguar Land Rover and SR Drives on this project and look forward to seeing our micro gas-turbine engine play a major role in the renaissance of the British automotive industry.’