Currently reading: Self-supercharging engine scoops national innovation prize
Oaktec Hybrids’ 400cc single-cylinder powerplant is awarded £40,000 after winning Shell-backed low-CO2 competition

A ‘self-supercharging’ single-cylinder engine designed by a Lancaster-based company has won a £40,000 prize in a national competition to find the UK’s next big business idea in low-carbon dioxide technology and innovation.

Earlier this week Oaktec Hybrids was crowned national winner of the Shell Springboard programme, which each year awards cash injections to help innovative companies scale up their products and services. This year, a total of £330,000 was given to nine businesses.

Oaktec was a regional finalist in the competition in 2013, but beat 110 rival bids to scoop the major prize this time around by proving its technology in a working prototype.

Development of the winning innovation, a 400cc engine that can be configured to run on a variety of fuel types, is spearheaded by Oaktec senior partner Paul Andrews.

Read more about Oaktec Hybrid's self-supercharging engine here 

Although the technology that underpins the system is largely confidential, Andrew believes it has the ability to be produced “in tens of millions” of units in a wide variety of applications and sectors, with its potential in the automotive sector in its current form likely to come from acting as a generator in a simple, low-cost, lightweight range-extender electric vehicle.

Andrews said: “We’re delighted to be this year’s national winners of Shell Springboard. Ours is the world’s first dedicated small gas engine and there are potential applications for our highly efficient, low-emissions technology in every country, every city and every community around the globe. This award and the support from Shell will open up huge opportunities for us to scale up the technology and unleash its full potential.”

He added that the company plans to put the prize money towards securing more funding and industrial partnerships.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Join the debate

Add a comment…
bennierodgers977 11 June 2014

A new thing innovation give a

A new thing innovation give a better personality and performance to everybody. One cylinder engine with self supercharging engine give a better result to the users, how it can run and perform better like the other engine is important. These type of engines generally used in the generators or any small equipments.
beechie 8 May 2014


I began to lose interest when I read 'low-carbon dioxide technology'.

I stopped reading altogether at 'low-cost, lightweight range-extender electric vehicle.'