Williams F1 Acquires Majority Share in Williams Hybrid Power Williams F1 today confirmed that is has acquired a majority shareholding in Williams Hybrid Power (WHP), increasing its existing 40% stake in the company to 78%.
Williams F1’s original investment dates back to March 2008 when the company bought the minority share in Automotive Hybrid Power (subsequently re-named to WHP), a Norfolk-based provider of composite flywheels, when kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) were being introduced into Formula One. Although the WHP flywheel system has not been raced by the team, WHP’s magnetically loaded composite flywheel (MLC) technology continues to garner considerable interest outside of the sport.
With car manufacturers seeking continuous reductions in CO2 emissions, WHP’s flywheel technology provides a cost-effective, technically viable and environmentally-sound solution for the mild hybrid sector. Consequently, in 2009 WHP re-focused its development efforts to road vehicle applications of the technology and has recently partnered with Porsche AG to run the system in the manufacturer’s new Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid.
WHP technology has enjoyed a successful racing debut in the Porsche hybrid, finishing first in its class and third place overall in only the second race of the season at the Nürburgring earlier this month. AT&T Williams driver, Nico Hülkenberg, has also experienced the technology first hand when he completed three laps of the 24 kilometer Nordschleife on Friday 23 April driving the 911 GT3 R.
In addition to use in racing and road car programs, WHP’s technology is also under development at Williams F1’s new research facility at Qatar’s Science and Technology Park for inclusion in larger infrastructure applications outside of the automotive industry.
Alex Burns, Chairman of WHP and CEO of Williams F1, said, “I am delighted that we have now taken a larger stake in Williams Hybrid Power. This agreement means that the business has the funding it needs for the development of a family of MLC flywheels to suit a range of applications in the automotive and other industries. I am confident that WHP will continue to deliver value to its customers and develop into a substantial, successful business.”