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FIA responds positively to the EEMS-supported Oaktec hybrid rally car project

Paul Andrews and Bill Meeson, partners in the EEMS-supported Oaktec Honda Insight E85 hybrid rally car project, were delighted with the positive response and possibility of future co-operation when they presented their project to the FIA’s Alternative Energies Commission in Paris last week.

The FIA represents the interests of motoring organisations throughout the world, and is also the governing body of worldwide motorsport. One of the FIA’s tasks in shaping the car of the future is to encourage governments to deploy the technologies that will make cars safer, cleaner and more reliable than before. The EEMS (Energy Efficient Motorsport) initiative promotes the UK motorsport industry and its engineering resource, creating new opportunities through the use of alternative fuels and development of energy-efficient competition.

The Honda Insight has the lowest emissions of any production car at 85g/km, further improved by Oaktec’s conversion to run on E85 biofuel blend. Oaktec’s specially developed Honda Insight won its class in the 2006 Formula 1000 Rally Series, running against conventional non-hybrid petrol-fuelled cars. Oaktec is now working with the International Automotive Research Centre at Warwick University to unlock the performance potential of renewable fuels and technologies. In response to the interest of the FIA, Paul Andrews of Oaktec discussed the car’s energy savings, the control of the regenerative system, energy storage ideas and the CV transmission.

‘With questions the Commission spent over three times longer with us than scheduled,’ said Paul. ‘We then continued over lunch and answered more questions about future development plans. We are delighted that the FIA has invited us to take part in a series of prestigious ‘green car’ events around Europe during this year.’

Rob Oldaker and Janice Minton represented the EEMS initiative of the UK Government run through Motorsport Development UK, and discussed other projects in sustainable technology within UK motorsport, some of which also receive EEMS support. The meeting proved an excellent opportunity to showcase the capability within the UK to the FIA commission which included ten delegates from around the world.

‘We would like to thank Oaktec and EEMS for their interesting presentation during our meeting’, said Bruno Moretti, President of the FIA Alternative Energies Commission. ‘We feel that we not only share common goals but we have a good possibility of co-operation in this field, which is certainly a part of the future of motorsport activity. We will be in touch about the FIA Alternative Energies Cup events, as well as discussing our own hybrid vehicle work.’