From education to employment


A world-beating hydrogen-fuelled hypercar, the Apricale, has arrived at the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) to showcase the revolution in high-performance zero-emissions powertrains led by its inventors, Viritech. The car is on display ahead of a presentation by Viritech’s founder and CEO, Matt Faulks due to be hosted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) at the MTI on 20 June 2023.

At the session, on ‘Rewiring the DNA of Zero Emission Motorsport and How This Benefits Road Vehicles’, Matt will explain how Viritech has radically redesigned the fuel cell powertrain with a complete suite of innovative energy management products to eliminate the weight penalty of zero-emissions powertrains, enabling zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) to achieve weight-parity with petrol or diesel vehicles for the first time. The Apricale is the only hypercar to provide a zero-emissions powertrain in a car whose weight is the same as a petrol-powered equivalent – and half that of some battery-electric equivalents.

Matt Faulks said, “In a world now flooded with ever larger and heavier hypercars, we were determined to prove there is a better way. Using expertise gained in F1 and other top motorsport series, we set the apparently impossible target of zero emissions in a hypercar weighing 1,000kg. That is what led to the development of a unique powertrain using a combination of hydrogen fuel cells and fast charge/discharge batteries with advanced energy management to deliver a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio.”

Viritech is a world-leading developer of high-performance hydrogen powertrain solutions for the automotive, aerospace, marine and distributed power sectors. It is a cleantech technology company whose business model is based on licencing solutions and products to vehicle manufacturers and major component suppliers.

The presentation on 20 June will cover the use of hydrogen fuel systems coupled with cutting-edge energy management and energy storage to enable fuel cell powertrains that are comparable in mass and performance with the highest-performing ICE powertrain options. Matt will also explore how companies such as Viritech are pushing the limits of the technology in motorsport and high-performance road car applications, and how they can be applied to wider-ranging, real-world applications such as Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and aerospace.

Lisa Bingley, Operations Director for the MTI said, “We are delighted to have the Apricale here at the MTI and look forward to hearing from Matt about the latest in fuel cell powertrain developments. This is a subject close to our heart because the MTI is now offering specialist skills training in hydrogen-powered HGV and LGV electric vehicle fleets as part of the Hyve project, a further education collaboration led by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College.

“We are offering one-day and three-day training courses for businesses and individuals in the automotive and logistics sectors to help them gear up for the potential that a switch to cleaner, greener hydrogen fuel could bring. We also cover the basics of hydrogen technology as part of our current electric vehicles course as well as an advanced one-day course covering hydrogen fuel cells more generally.”

Since it first opened its doors, the MTI has welcomed over 42,500 students and delegates. This includes over 3,100 studying for accredited qualifications from a Level 1 Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) certificate up to Masters’ degrees, and over 850 apprenticeships at all levels. More than 17,100 automotive professionals have taken part in professional development activities.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chair of the MTI Operations Board, and Principal and Chief Executive North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “Through our partnership with HORIBA MIRA, we are privileged to gain access to businesses based at the MIRA Technology Park who are working at the forefront of automotive technology development. We look forward to welcoming Matt from Viritech and hearing the latest on how hydrogen can contribute to the UK’s Net Zero carbon goals.”

If you would like to attend the seminar, please book online via the IMechE website.

Related Articles