From Torotrak's 2011 annual report, published on-line on 5th July 2011 :- Financial Highlights
Timing and level of licence payments and restructuring costs result in increased loss after tax of £3.1 million, as expected
Restructuring if Infinitrak JV leads to a net £0.2 million positive contribution and reduced expenditure going forward
Cash of £8.3 million at year end strengthened post year end by £3.5 million licence payment from Allison Transmissions Inc ("Allison") in April 2011, recovering much of the £4.8 million operating cash outflow in the year
One-off restructuring charges of £0.7 million in the year expected to yield cash savings of 31.4 million in first year (£1.8 million annualised) Operational highlights
Substantial engineering programmes with our two lead commercial vehicle customers lead to successful installation of prototype transmissions in each customer's vehicle
Allison committed in April 2011 to £8.0 million in further licensing and Torotrak engineering support, moving to a multi-stage, production intent, transmission programme
Torotrak gearbox technology installed in Tata's Pixel concept car, highlighting opportunities in the small car market
Rapid progress with our key partners in developing Torotrak technology in engine downsizing and enhanced stop start hybrid systems Full Report avilable on-line at http://www.torotrak.com/pdfs/annreps/Torotrak_Annual_Report_2011.pdf General Note
The company situation as at May 2011
Torotrak has developed an infinitely variable transmission (IVT) which it is licencing to a number of American (MTD of Cleveland, Ohio and Allison Transmission Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana), European (Carrao of Campodarsego, Padova, Italy and an as as yet unnamed European Truck and Bus manufacturer) and Far Eastern (Tata Motors of India and others) companies. The company's website can be found at http://www.torotrak.com/
EARLIER DEVELOPMENTS June 5 2007. Kinetic Energy Recovery System by Torotrak for F1 Motor Racing
Toroidal traction drive specialist Torotrak plc and vehicle transmission design and manufacturing company Xtrac Ltd are pleased to announce that on 4 June 2007 they entered into a licence agreement to enable Xtrac to develop highly efficient and compact continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) for use in the new kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) proposed for Formula One ('F1') motor racing.
In 2009, F1 is introducing new rules that will lower the environmental impact of the sport. Part of this is to recover deceleration energy that can be stored for acceleration. Xtrac will exploit Torotrak's full-toroidal traction drive technology for use in kinetic energy recovery systems within the motorsport industry, to assist its customers in meeting these new obligations.
Commenting on the co-operation between the two companies, Peter Digby, managing director of Xtrac, said: 'The transfer of world-class transmission technology from Torotrak, combined with the added value of Xtrac's expertise in the design and manufacture of transmissions for motorsport - and with clear potential to feed the resulting technical solution back into mainstream automotive use - is a good example of what I believe FIA President Max Mosley had in mind when he announced that Formula One should embrace an energy efficient future and open up the world of motorsport to new manufacturers'.
Dick Elsy, Chief Executive at Torotrak, added: 'We are delighted to be working with Xtrac on this exciting new application of our transmission technology, to provide a highly efficient KERS solution for initial application in motorsport, but with a clear opportunity to apply the system in mainstream road cars to provide performance, economy and greenhouse gas emission benefits.'
Over the last three years the size of the standard transmission has been repeatedly reduced so that it is now smaller than a 6 speed automatic transmission, but with significantly fewer parts and lower manufacturing costs, and there are now in addition a range of transmissions for all sizes of vehicles including a new mini transmission is being developed for a new Asian people's car that is proposed to retail for $2500. This transmission is currently undergoing trials on this car.
On March 22nd '07 came the expected announcement of the very first ever actual start of production of a Torotrak IVT by Infinitrak, the joint venture company formed between MTD of Cleveland, Ohio, and Torotrak. The IVTs will be used in a new version of MTD's i1000 Cub Cadet ride-on mowers. For the full announcement see this link to Torotrak's web site and follow the link under What's New, 22/03/07 (Note the British way of writing dates, day/month/year) :-
Many shareholders are pleased with the technical progress but still frustrated with the slow take up of the technology. One explanation is that the major transmission manufacturers have invested fortunes in 6 speed autos and they have to get the payback on their investment before they introduce replacement technology.