Hybrid fuel technology

Students on the Motorsport Engineering course have developed a hybrid race car as part of their efforts to work towards a greener future. The car runs on petrol and the energy which would otherwise have been wasted when braking. That energy is stored and called on when needed.

Phil Willis MP with Formula student car

The students are all familiar with the latest technologies and are actively researching how to make the very best use of them. Oxford Brookes has a world leading reputation in this area

Phil Willis MP

When the students took their car to the Houses of Parliament in 2009 the then Secretary of State for the Environment, Hilary Benn, said:

"Hybrid cars are part of the future in terms of trying to get more out of less and trying to reduce emissions. I've been really impressed with the keenness of the students and the efforts they’re making… In the fight against climate change we’re going to need all the help we can get … and science will be a really important part of this. These young people are helping to build the future and let's hope this car is part of it."

Phil Willis, Chairman of the House of Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee added:

"It's excellent to see undergraduate and postgraduate students working alongside each other with academics to produce very exciting work. There's solid thinking here about the environment and bringing regenerative energy into automobile design and engineering… the students are all familiar with the latest technologies and are actively researching how to make the very best use of them. Oxford Brookes has a world leading reputation in this area."

Hybrid racing car

Koen Sannen, who studied for a masters in motorsport engineering, said:

"It's the future because we’re running out of fossil fuels … Motorsports has always been the top of automotive engineering so it's really important that it takes the step to alternative fuels and energies."

David Richards CBE, Chairman and Chief Executive of Prodrive and Chairman of Aston Martin, said:

"Motorsport has a vital role to play, not only in the development of innovative environmental technologies, but in providing a platform to promote them to a global audience. What the students at Oxford Brookes have managed to do with their hybrid racing car is to emulate the new KERS technologies of the Formula One teams, but at a fraction of cost. It is a staggering achievement and one they should be immensely proud of."