Delta withdraws from X-Prize following fire

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarThursday, April 29th, 2010

 
 

A Silverstone-based engineering company that had taken on the challenge of trying to produce the world’s greenest car has withdrawn from an international competition after a fire at its base that destroyed its entry.

Delta Motorsport was developing the four-seater Delta E-4 Coupé for the Progressive Automotive X-Prize – an international competition based around the goal of designing, building and selling super-efficient cars that people want to buy.

Delta’s car was the only British entrant and had made it to the track stage of the competition at the Michigan International Speedway in the United States where it would have competed against teams from across the US and Canada as well as China, Italy, Finland, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Thailand.

According to the blog of Delta boss Nick Carpenter the car was all but finished when the fire wiped it out.

He says: “There are some positives to take from the experience – no-one was hurt, virtually all the tooling (patterns, moulds etc) was off-site at KS Composites, all bar 2 of our CAD computers survived (as did the data which was triple backed up!) and Silverstone Circuits have been superb, getting us into another unit within 24 hours so that we could continue the other customer project work we’re doing.

“EMDA (our regional development agency who helped fund the project) have also been very supportive, and so have the guys at Amberjac and Advanced Composites. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us through the project so far.”

He also says the project will continue, with Delta even more determined than ever to make their low-carbon car a success thanks to the positive feedback the team had received before the fire. He hopes to be demonstrating the E-4 alongside other low-carbon vehicles in the UK by July.

You can read his full account of what happened on his blog here.

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