Australian-developed Hybrid-electric Engine Progress Report

European tour yields both interest and disappointments as CMC Power Systems lines up two European car makers to buy test versions of its hybrid-electric engine.

Published: 25-Nov-2000

The Directors of CMC Power Systems Limited are pleased to announce that another two European vehicle manufacturers have entered negotiations to purchase the Australian-developed SyTech Technology engine for test programs.

The manufacturers both produce world-famous luxury saloons, and are proceeding with the negotiations for purchase of test engines as a result of the engine's presentation as part of Australia's $13 million aXcessaustralia concept car during its recent European tour.

The SyTech engine was a core component of the aXcessaustralia car, a joint marketing project of the Australian automotive component industry, CSIRO and the Commonwealth Government's Austrade and Department of Industry, Science and Resources.

CMC Director Graham Fountain, who toured with the vehicle accompanied by CMC Chief Engineer Dr Hans Rosenkranz, said "this brings to three the total number of European manufacturers who will be testing the engine next year".

"As previously announced, a major European manufacturer in 1998 purchased a four-cylinder 2.2 litre engine which has been built at the CMC Research laboratories in Melbourne and delivered to the customer.

"A second engine is now well advanced in rigorous durability tests being conducted to that company's specifications, while the other is fitted to one its vehicles in European and is in use by senior management there in an evaluation program.

"All three companies are attracted by the engine's compactness - it is less than two-thirds the size and weight of comparable conventional engines - as well as its quietness and smoothness, its increased fuel economy and its reduced nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions.

"Our participation in the aXcessaustralia concept car project has been an outstanding success, because it has allowed as to penetrate the highest management levels of European companies which mostly have remained inaccessible until now.

"This was because of the attractive 'aura' surrounding the aXcessaustralia hybrid electric vehicle, which has the backing not only of private industry but of the Federal Government and our major scientific body, CSIRO.

"Thanks to the aXcess low emissions vehicle (LEV), we have been talking to the people who make decisions about product development and new platforms, whereas in the past we have been mainly been limited to talking to the research and engineering staff.

"It is now fair to say that most of the engine development people in Europe have heard of us, and understand our technology and its advantages, and further that we have now achieved a good profile at the top levels of senior management."

The aXcess vehicle toured five countries - Germany, England, France, Austria and Italy - in eight weeks from September through November.

"In Germany we visited all seven major vehicle manufacturers - Audi, BMW, Daimler Chrysler, Ford, Opel, Porsche and Volkswagen - and with only one exception we were encouraged by the acceptance of the engine as mature technology, i.e. that it is a product that has completed its research phase and is now ready for pre-production development," Mr Fountain said.

In England the response was disappointing as Jaguar and Land Rover staff did not attend MIRA as expected, but Mr Fountain and Dr Rosenkranz took the opportunity for technical meetings with one of the world's most respected engine design and manufacturing cousultancies, Ricardo, who have been advising CMC for the past year on design and testing matters.

In France, little response was shown by Peugeot-Citroen, but Renault showed a great deal of interest because of a possible dimensional advantage SyTech could bring to one of their aggressive programs. CMC is being kept busy with a constant flow of requests for technical information from that company.

In Austria, CMC's presentation was attended by the highest number of people for any of the aXcess suppliers when the car was shown at the old-established manufacturing company of Steyr Daimler Puch, and CMC will participate in a full hybrid electric driveline proposal to be known as project 'Matilda'.

In Italy both Fiat and Ferrari received detailed presentations with contact continuing to both organizations.

In summary, Mr Fountain said CMC Power Systems had achieved another two important marketing breakthroughs in the very difficult field of engine technology, due largely to the fact that the engine was packaged in a beautiful car that was put on display to top decision makers, designers, stylists and engineers from body, electrical, engine, platform and suspension disciplines - people who, under normal circumstances, CMC would not have the opportunity to converse with in such numbers.

For further information contact: Graham Fountain / Tony Teng CMC Power Systems Limited Tel:+612 - 9281 4933 Fax:+612 - 9211 7033 Email: cmcpower@bigpond.com

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