A new spin-out company, Oxford Yasa Motors, has been set up to commercialise a lightweight electric motor developed by Dr Malcolm McCulloch's research group in the University's Department of Engineering Science. This is the second spin-out company from Dr McCulloch’s group, after the launch of smart-metering spin-out Intelligent Sustainable Energy in 2008.
Dr McCulloch, Director of the Institute for Carbon and Energy Reduction in Transport (iCERT), and Dr Tim Woolmer, then a PhD student in the group, originally devised the electric motor for the 2008 Morgan LIFECar.
Members of the 21st Century School (and Directors in particular) tend to have a diverse range of interests. The experienced gained and the connections made through external projects, such as the LIFECar, bring invaluable expertise into the 21st Century School. This diversity lies at the heart of the School's work, and members of the School are encouraged to involve themselves in a wide variety of projects, in addition to their work at the 21st Century School.
In this case, it is hoped that performance data on Dr McCulloch's new engine will eventually be fed back into iCERT's "whole system model". This model analyses the performance of a wide range of engine and fuel types, in order to develop a whole systems approach to reducing energy demand in transport.
In the mean time, Oxford Yasa Motors hopes to take this technology to a wider market. As well as high performance cars, the motor will be adapted for aerospace, and for renewable and industrial applications, where it will offer a significant commercial advantage.