Aeristech secures £500,000 to boost development of high performance vehicle engines

Aeristech, a developer of turbocharger technology designed to enhance fuel efficiency in vehicle engines while reducing emissions, has secured £500,000 with help from Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION), Europe's leading technology investment network.

The round was led by Midven which invested alongside Minerva Business Angels Network and members of the OION Network. Aeristech will use the new funding to progress testing programmes with two global vehicle manufacturers.

Turbochargers are fitted to make an engine more powerful by using the energy from exhaust gases, which would otherwise be lost, to raise the pressure of air entering the engine. This also increases engine efficiency and materially enhances fuel consumption.

However, conventional turbochargers only assist the engine when sufficient exhaust gas energy is available. Any mismatch between what the engine needs and what the turbocharger produces is known as 'turbo lag'.

Aeristech claims its patented hybrid turbocharger technology system ('HTT') completely eliminates turbo lag, allowing vehicles fitted with HTT to combust fuel far more effectively at low revs than vehicles fitted with conventional turbochargers. As a result, the HTT system is said to enable vehicle manufacturers to build smaller engines with the same level of performance as larger engines and which can generate 20 to 30% in fuel savings.

Bryn Richards, chief executive of Aeristech, said: "The motor industry is now seeking to bring the highest efficiency, lowest cost turbo systems into its supply chain and it is forecast that by 2014 around 75% of all European light vehicles will be boosted by turbo technology. We are delighted to have secured the investment we need to progress the development of our unique HTT system and our objective is to capture a 10% share of this market over the longer term."

The Carbon Trust supported the initial development phase of the HTT system through its incubation scheme and Aeristech was also awarded R&D grants totaling £500,000 to produce a prototype. The company is now undertaking bespoke HTT testing programmes with a global vehicle manufacturer and a construction equipment vehicle manufacturer for off-road vehicles.

Eileen Modral, OION Network investment manager, said: "Aeristech's HTT system provides a cost effective means for vehicle manufacturers to offer a superior product to their customers and meet legislative demands. It was no surprise that the company attracted strong investor interest in an oversubscribed round. We wish the Aeristech team every success and look forward to monitoring the company's continued growth."

Chris Shaw

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