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DfT announces New Hybrid Sports Car Partnership at Hybrid Vehicle Conference

Malcolm Fendick, Head of Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles Division of the Department for Transport, is to announce the start of a new Hybrid sports car technology partnership at a special conference on Hybrid vehicle technology at the University of Warwick on Wednesday 13th December

The new partnership between Westfield Sportscars Ltd. based in Kingswinford, West Midlands, and the University of Warwick's Warwick Manufacturing Group will explore the potential for hybrid versions of Westfield's sports car products. Westfield Managing Director, Julian Turner said 'It is an exciting time for the business, and we are firmly committed to the development and introduction of performance enhancing technology, both in terms of the vehicle dynamics and the environment. The University of Warwick is the ideal partner with which to explore the commercial viability of hybrid technology'.

Adrian Vinsome, Project Manager of the Hybrid work at the University of Warwick said, 'With Westfield we will be assessing improvements in performance and environmental impact. We have developed tools and techniques with a wide range of industrial partners, and this collaboration will allow us to apply the tools in a new situation, and help the company to understand the business case that the various options present.'

The announcement will be made as part of a prestigious 2 day conference and exhibition on Hybrid Vehicles at the University of Warwick on 12th and 13th of December. It will bring together leaders in the field of hybrid vehicles including experts from industry, academia and government and will be addressed by Malcolm Fendick and Chairman of Advantage West Midlands, Nick Paul. There will also be displays of a range of different hybrid vehicles.

Adrian Vinsome, who is Chairing the conference said: "Some people consider that hybrids are a 'bridge technology' until something better comes along. However, all evidence points to the fact that it'll be some years until any technology is mature enough to totally replace the internal combustion engine, and hybrid technology will still be vital". He echoed Jim Press, President of Toyota USA's words, who is on record as saying "I think everything will be a hybrid, eventually. It will either be a gas (petrol) hybrid, a diesel hybrid or a fuel-cell hybrid"

The conference is looking at hybrid development from the perspectives of all of the stakeholders - technical, commercial and political. It is hoped that by bringing everyone together in this way, companies, customers and Government can work together to remove barriers, increase activity in the field and stimulate the Region's economy.

Notes for Editors

1. The conference will be opened by Professor Lord Bhattacharyya KB CBE, Professor of Manufacturing and Director of Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick.

1 The conference and exhibition is a carbon neutral event, in line with
The University of Warwick's policy to increase awareness of, and actively
reduce, energy consumption and waste.

2. Malcolm Fendick is the Divisional Manager and Chief Mechanical Engineer for the UK Department of Transport Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles Division.

3 More details available at www.hevents.org.uk/conference or e-mail hybrids@warwick.ac.uk with questions.

4 Westfield Sportcars has recently come under new ownership, being recently acquired by Potenza Sports Cars Limited, and this move builds upon an initial commitment to develop a Euro IV emissions compliant version of their Duratec powered vehicles

For further information please contact:

Adrian Vinsome, Warwick Manufacturing Group
University of Warwick Tel: 02476 575935.

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations
University of Warwick Tel: 024 76 523708
07767 655860 p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk