Libertine FPE has secured a grant from Horizon 2020, the European funding programme for research and innovation.
Horizon 2020 aims to produce world-class science and innovation in Europe. The SME instrument is designed to support EU-based small and medium-sized Enterprises with breakthrough innovations through staged funding and business acceleration services.
The Phase 1 grant will be used to support development of Libertine’s IntelliGEN 20kWe Smart Engine platform for OEMs seeking to create power generators for electric vehicles and distributed power generation applications.
In future, most vehicles will require an on-board electrical power generator. By 2030 it is estimated by Toyota that such ‘hybrid’ electric vehicle sales will outnumber conventional vehicles and battery electric vehicle sales by three to one. These future hybrid electric vehicles will require a revolution in internal combustion engine design and performance to meet stringent regulatory and user requirements for efficiency, emissions, noise and vibration, packaging and fuel flexibility.
Libertine is enabling this next revolution in internal combustion engine performance, using electronic piston motion control and high performance linear machines to ensure optimal combustion conditions during each and every cycle. The ‘Smart Engines’ created by this revolution will play a major role in global transport and power generation for decades to come.
Libertine is currently in discussions under NDA with two leading OEMs in Europe, in addition to prospective partners bringing expertise in renewable fuels and advanced combustion development. Through its proprietary real time compression ratio and adaptive piston motion control technology, IntelliGEN will support all bioethanol fuel mixes from E10 currently in widespread use in Europe to higher E20 and E85 mixes, offering greatly enhanced combustion efficiency and emissions performance.
During 2019 Libertine will be seeking Phase 2 support to launch and evaluate pilot intelliGEN systems in the UK, France and Germany during 2019-20 with support from European partners.
Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.
Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.
By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation. What is Horizon 2020?
Libertine makes Smart Engines for Electric Vehicles and distributed power generation. In future, most vehicles will require an on-board electrical power generator. Smart Engines running on a variety of cleaner and sustainable fuels are considered to be an essential part of this future – not only on board electric vehicles, but also in a wide variety of distributed power applications. Smart Engines are expected to produce at least 30% more power from the same fuel input, whilst being cleaner, quieter and easier to use and maintain than today’s power generators. Libertine is enabling this revolution in internal combustion engine performance with its proprietary electronic piston motion control and high-performance linear machines. Smart Engines using this technology will play a major role in global transport and power generation for decades to come. The addressable market for Libertine’s technology is estimated to be in excess of US$100 billion by 2025.
Sheffield, UK: Libertine FPE (“Libertine”), the creator of Smart Engine technology for electric vehicles (EV), has appointed Roger Allcock as Operations Director.
The appointment follows Libertine’s raising of a further £770,000 investment to develop ‘smart engines’ for electric vehicles.
Roger has been working at a senior level in the UK’s electrical machines and drives industry for over 30 years. His experience spans a wide range of product types including permanent magnet and induction motors and bespoke power electronics, and within the motorsport, aerospace, and oil & gas sectors. For the last ten years Roger’s focus has been on the development of hybrid electrical systems using high performance permanent magnetic devices.
Sam Cockerill, CEO of Libertine, said: “Roger joins Libertine as we are seeking to develop the manufacturing and operations functions as the organisation grows. With new investment, new talent, and new partnerships worldwide we are in a strong position to deliver our ‘smart engine,’ which could produce at least 30% more power from the same fuel input whilst being cleaner, quieter and more compact that today’s technologies.”
Roger is a past Chairman and Treasurer of the UK Magnetics Society and a Fellow of the IET.
Libertine FPE Ltd – the Sheffield-based company which is developing ‘smart engines’ for electric vehicles – has raised a further £770,000 investment.
The latest funding round was led by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and included investment from Envestors and ShadowFoundr as well as several existing shareholders including Sir Robin Saxby.
The investment follows the £500,000 raised from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance in July 2017 which marked the first Northern Powerhouse Invesment Fund equity investment in Sheffield City Region.
The new capital will enable the company to build and demonstrate a number of prototype ‘intelliGEN’ smart engine modules incorporating its e-machine and control technology, engage with automotive manufacturers, and further develop the business in preparation for a Series A investment round in 2020. This second funding round will remain open to new investors until the end of June and brings the total raised by the company to over £4.8m.
Founded in 2009 by Sam Cockerill, an engineer with a background in the biofuels industry, Libertine makes smart engines for electric vehicles and distributed power generation. A smart engine has the crankshaft replaced by software-controlled electrical machines that govern piston motion to optimise the combustion process. Smart engines could produce at least 30% more power from the same fuel input whilst being cleaner, quieter and more compact than today’s power generators. Libertine currently employs seven staff and expects to create a further five jobs in the year ahead.
Sam Cockerill, CEO of Libertine, said: “This new investment comes at a very exciting time for Libertine. Successfully completing this first close represents an important milestone for us as we work to bring our smart engine technology to market.”
Ashwin Kumaraswamy, Investment Director at Mercia, said:
“Libertine is enabling a revolution in engine performance with its proprietary electronic piston motion control and high-performance linear machines. Smart engines using this technology will play a major role in global transport and power generation, with the market estimated to be worth over US$100 billion by 2025. This second round of funding will take the company one step closer towards its goal.”
Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said: “We are pleased that NPIF continues to support high-growth and innovative businesses in the North, providing vital funding to recruit new staff and for expansion into new markets. This investment demonstrates how this funding can make a real and measurable difference to businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region, which helps create a more prosperous regional economy.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
19 March, 2019
Libertine FPE, the creator of Smart Engine technology for electric vehicles, has signed an exclusive license deal with the world leading specialists in automotive test systems, AB Dynamics.
The license will enable AB Dynamics to create new vehicle and component test systems using Libertine’s technology. Read more
13 March 2019
Libertine FPE (“Libertine”), the creator of Smart Engine technology for electric vehicles (EVs), has joined forces with Productiv, a provider of venture engineering services for cleantech businesses, to accelerate and de-risk commercialisation of a range of modular Smart Engines using Libertine’s intelliGEN platform. Read more
Joins Advanced Propulsion Centre UK on Chinese Technology Mission
7 January 2019:
Libertine FPE Limited (‘Libertine’), the Smart Engine IP licensing company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chinese automotive company Enovatemotors, with the intent to work together on future ‘Smart Range Extenders’ based on an innovative ‘Free Piston Engine’ (FPE) design.
Enovatemotors launched its luxury electric vehicle (EV) brand ENOVATE in China in November 2018. Enovate targets the medium to large luxury car segment with electric cars that will compete the world’s best on quality and technology (see: www.enovatemotors.com).
Says Shengfu Niu, Director & CTO, Enovatemotors: “We are delighted to have an agreement enabling us to work with Libertine as we develop future smart Range Extender solutions for use in our Enovate luxury electric cars. The future of Range Extenders will be smart, and Enovatemotors is at the forefront of developing new EV technologies with the assistance of innovative partners like Libertine.”
Says Sam Cockerill, CEO, Libertine FPE: “We are excited to be working with Enovatemotors, a company with a strong vision of how the future of luxury automobiles will work and the capability to implement new technologies to make that future happen. We’ve been approached by multiple Chinese OEMs across the automotive and distributed power industries who have each determined that they need to develop ‘Free Piston’ electrical power generator products and are evaluating Libertine’s Smart Engine platform tech.”
Libertine is enabling a revolution in the design of combustion engine-generators that will help Chinese OEMs build cleaner, more efficient hybrid vehicles powered by a combination of grid electricity and clean, alternative transport fuels. Smart Engines created by this revolution will play a major role in global transport and power generation for decades to come.
Chinese Technology Mission
Libertine is taking its technology for 20-40kWe free piston based ‘Smart Engines’ to Chinese automotive technology companies as part of the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s Chinese Technology Mission from 10th-15th January 2019.
The Chinese Technology Mission will help build new relationships and encourage trade between Chinese and UK automotive technology companies, through a series of showcases of R&D Capability and technologies.
The mission will be centred around the EV100 conference on the 12th-13th January 2019. The event features high-level representatives from Chinese government, OEMs and prestigious scientists who will provide an update on hybrid and electric vehicle technologies, strategies and policies at this forum.
Continues Cockerill: “This opportunity to deepen our relationships in the important Chinese market for new, clean energy vehicles comes at a great time for Libertine as we prepare to launch our intelli-GEN Smart Engine platform. This will enable Chinese OEMs to accelerate their introduction of next generation range extenders. We look forward to networking with key people in the sector, presenting our IP, and building on the partnerships we have already established in China.”
The APC China Mission has brought together the best of UK technology and engineering R&D companies through a competitive application process. Selected companies will be able to engage directly with Chinese OEMs located in engineering centres around Beijing and Shanghai.
Libertine’s intelli-GEN Smart Engine platform leverages Libertine’s proprietary electro-mechanical and motion control solutions, and will underpin the development of a wide range of free piston engine products for mass market production within China’s domestic markets and global market applications.
Understanding Libertine Smart Engine Technology
A Smart Engine based on Libertine technology has the crankshaft replaced by software-controlled electrical machines that both generate electrical power and govern piston motion to optimise the combustion process.
Also known as ‘Free Piston Engines’ or ‘Free Piston Linear Generators’, Smart Engine will be far more efficient, cleaner and more flexible. Just as nearly all modern engines are now ECU controlled, so most internal combustion engines will ultimately incorporate smart piston motion control. This approach can produce 30% more power from the same fuel input.
Libertine leads the revolution by solving the challenge of piston motion control. Libertine’s intelli-GEN Smart Engine technology platform can be applied in a wide range of engines from portable power units and series hybrid passenger cars up to much larger bus and truck engines.
Sir Gary Verity, Yorkshire ambassador, has officially opened Libertine’s new technology development centre in Sheffield.
Sir Gary, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, formally opened the new research and development facility, which will also act as Libertine’s headquarters, for furthering the global development of linear motor-generator technologies.
The 6,610 sq ft unit located at Sheffield’s Vantage Park industrial estate, will progress the research, development and prototyping of linear power generation systems and free piston engines to profit from clean sources of energy worldwide, such as agricultural waste material, biomass and biofuels. Read more
Libertine FPE Limited is taking the first unit at the second phase of Sheffield’s Vantage Park Industrial Estate to advance its linear motor-generator technologies.
The company has signed an agreement to lease 6,610 sq ft plus 930 sq ft of first floor offices at EV Waddington’s Vantage Park close to junction 34 of the M1 motorway, allowing the set up of new headquarters and using the space to develop its Linear Power Systems technology.
The move will pave the way for new product development and testing facilities following a £650k funding injection in 2017, led by the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). Read more
Libertine FPE Ltd has appointed Dr Lee Juby in the role of Business Development Director.
Lee will join the full-time team from 1st October and will operate out of the Sheffield office playing a key role in the company’s growth and business acquisition plans, customer retention and securing sustainable revenue with strategic partners.
An expert in electrical power systems, Lee is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Chartered Engineer with a doctorate from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and has more than twenty years of blue-chip commercial experience. Read more