RBW – Powered by…
We struck lucky… having written to a number of companies, I had a call from world leading electricification producers Zytek Automotive, by complete fluke only five miles from RBW HQ and one of the world’s foremost electric car engineering companies, right on my doorstep.
What qualifies me to say “world leading?” Zytek are now owned by Continental AG and working under the “Continental Engineering Services Division” (CES) had 166 engineers, Formula E Champions the last four years, designers and manufacturers of the first 2000 Electric Smart cars for Daimler way back in 2005, creators of the first Electric Morgan that raced up the ‘Goodwood’ Hill in 2011, long before electric classics were even considered! oh, else the inventors of KER’s in 2009 for Formula One!
When you think Continental, you think Tyres, right? Well that’s £14 billion of their business turnover. Continental design, build and manufacture components, electric motors and safety systems for most of the top car manufacturers on the planet, with a turnover of £48 billion and employee 266,000 personnel. In the automotive industry they are world technology leader, what’s more, we engaged and our relationship started.
Priority No1, ‘The Brief’ – Peter was introduced to a quite incredible team of people at CES who were and remain very supportive of RBW’s vision. They understood RBW required a sports car experience, not just an electric car, a rear wheel drive vehicle that gave an engaging experience, was the challenge RBW had set.
Now, anyone who drives the RBW Roadster will tell you CES delivered, BIG TIME! How? “Continental Engineering Services” sits right in the middle of the Continental organisation affording RBW access to latest systems and technology, more, the ability to access proven product for our electric classic system, including the all-important direct drive ERM2 motors.
Only when engaging with Continental Engineering Services did the gravity of the project hit home. First, the RBW original budget was 300% light, this, the price of compliance or doing it right! Secondly, there was no quick fix to creating ‘the system’, however, Peter was buoyed, upon presenting his idea/design/system that the CES engineers agreed with his principles of design, we were good to move forward.
One small comment resonated, moving forward had a huge caveat from CES and one my competitors did not have to consider “RBW cannot release a system unless it meets CES standards” software, battery supply, new high and low voltage wiring harnesses, it soon became apparent we would be a long way down the path to creating a new vehicle, that of course is what we have done with the RBW recreation MG – add to the fact that we could source brand new body shells from British Motor Heritage then, yes, a new car was achieved with, pre-virus, seven vehicles and a launch being completed Summer 2020.
Next week… REG approves, on with the build!
See you soon,