Hybrid car drives down fuel costs

A car that uses half the fuel of normal vehicles in cities has been built with technology originating at the University.

BMW 530 saloon with Digital Displacement ® technology

Artemis Intelligent Power, a company formed by University researchers, has converted a BMW 530 saloon.

The car’s carbon emissions have been cut by an average of 30 per cent in combined city and motorway driving.

Hydraulic technology

The car works with a computer-operated hydraulic drive system.

The technology, called Digital Displacement®, maintains the flexibility, power and strength associated with traditional hydraulic technology, but uses much less fuel.

The engine drives a Digital Displacement® pump which sends its output power, via hoses, to two Digital Displacement® motors driving the rear wheels.

When the car brakes, the system captures and stores energy which would normally be lost. This is then used when the car next accelerates.

Fuel economy

The car runs on a mixture of stored energy and petrol, switching seamlessly between the two.

Computer control ensures that the engine operates at its most efficient speed, using a minimum of fuel.

The technology is also compatible with diesel and biofuel. The project was supported by the Department for Transport and the Energy Saving Trust.

Our technology represents a serious step forward in terms of cost-effective fuel economy improvement.The system will be much less expensive than electric hybrids, and will help to make hybrid vehicles an economic, rather than a lifestyle choice.

Dr Win RampenDirector of Artemis