13th April 2012
Work is also ongoing in the novel area of micro gas turbines for automotive and industrial applications. JLR has been involved in a collaborative project with small British firm Bladon Jets that has led to the development of two 70kW micro gas turbine engines which have been featured in Jaguar’s CX75 concept electric sports car. Using Bladon Jets’ ultra-lightweight range-extender technology, CX75 has a top speed of more than 200mph, doing 540 miles on a 60-litre tank of fuel. Parent company Tata is also interested in developing micro gas turbines for power generation in emerging economies.
Joyce says that the Bladon Jets project is just one of a number of very exciting motor, battery and range-extended technologies that JLR is evaluating. “There are some great start-up companies in the UK but historically many of them have not found a route to market. We hope to be a route to market in the UK and in the wider world.”
Joyce says Bladon Jets’ technology holds real potential. “The key issue is to come up with a manufacturing business equation to get the economies of scale. It’s a very high-precision, compact unit, and development is going well. But it’s actually about getting it across from the work bench and into an application. However, we have identified a couple of really serious opportunities to get significant economies of scale to launch that technology versus more traditional diesel/petrol auxiliary power unit applications.”