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The first affordable diesel hybrid

British automotive engineering consultancy Zytek has developed the world's first low-cost, high-efficiency hybrid-electric drivetrain.

Launched by the Minster of State for Transport, Dr. Stephen Ladyman, the new technology will allow vehicle owners to drive across London's extended congestion charge zone for just four pence.

The novel dual-mode technology offers a realistic alternative to expensive proprietary systems and can be quickly implemented within the packaging constraints of compact European passenger cars.

A demonstration vehicle, built within the UK Government's Ultra Low Carbon Car Challenge (ULCCC), has exceeded all targets set for the programme, delivering 85g of CO2 per km compared with 121g/km for the already exceptionally efficient standard vehicle.

"Hybrid technology is now well established as a route to low emissions and outstanding fuel consumption, but so far it has carried a substantial price premium," explains Zytek sales and marketing director Steve Tremble.

"We wanted to develop a drivetrain that would make the many benefits of hybrid drive affordable within the most popular class of vehicle. We are delighted that the ULCCC, managed by the Energy Saving Trust, has supported this programme and allowed us to demonstrate the viability of our technology."

Introducing the new technology at an event in London (December 5th), Minister of State for Transport Dr Stephen Ladyman said: "If we are going to cut carbon emissions from road transport we need innovative new technologies.

"This launch shows that there is the potential to dramatically reduce emissions from cars, which is why the UK Government provides £5 million a year in a grant funding programme for investment in innovative low carbon road transport technologies."

The Ultra-Low Carbon Car Challenge is a two year, Government-supported programme to develop an affordable, five door vehicle with well-to-wheel CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km.

Posted on 12.12.2006
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