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16 December 2010

Lotus Egineering scoops two trophies at the Engineer Awards

Project Omnivore wins first place in the Automotive, Rail and Marine sector while the Fuel Cell Hybrid Taxi triumphs in the Energy category.

The Engineer - Technology and Innovation Awards 2010 is the annual competition of the highly regarded magazine celebrating the years best engineering projects across a wide range of engineering fields. These prestigious awards recognise the expertise and world class research at Lotus Engineering in the areas of advanced powertrain and hybrid vehicles.

It is not difficult to see how the judges were impressed by Project Omnivore. It is an innovative two-stroke engine that will run in Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) operation on a range of fuels. The research engine will not only run on gasoline, diesel and alcohol fuels, but it also offers a 10% increase in fuel efficiency compared to stratified direct injection engines. Lotus Engineering was lead partner on Project Omnivore, working with Jaguar Cars, Orbital and Queen’s University Belfast, with sponsorship from the Department for Environment, Food, & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department of the Environment - Northern Ireland through the Renewables Materials LINK programme.

The Fuel Cell Hybrid Taxi is a zero emissions series hybrid vehicle that has received extensive attention. It retains the iconic styling of a conventional London taxi, but it is fitted with an advanced hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid drivetrain, giving a range of 250 miles and a top speed in excess of 85 mph with zero tailpipe CO2 emissions. The consortium for the project comprised Lotus Engineering, Intelligent Energy, TRW Conekt, LTI and the UK Technology Strategy Board. Lotus Engineering has designed and built the taxis, including the integration and control of the full drivetrain system.

Dr Robert Hentschel, Director of Lotus Engineering, commented, “It is a great accolade for Lotus Engineering and our collaborative partners to win these two prestigious awards - it shows the strength of research and the engineering talent at Lotus Engineering. We are continuing to invest in cutting edge R&D to grow our engineering consultancy business in our four core competencies of Driving Dynamics, Lightweight Architecture, Efficient Performance and Electrical and Electronic Integration. This is a very exciting time for Lotus and we look forward to continuing success in future projects.”