Photograph of newspapers
ALECS wins the inaugural NVN Nick Carpenter Innovation Award!

ALECS wins the inaugural NVN Nick Carpenter Innovation Award!

Posted by: Simpact Engineering Ltd. Date posted: 1st Sep 2021 Category: Simpact News

The partners of the ALECS project were honoured to receive the brand new Nick Carpenter Innovation award.  Announced at CENEX (the low carbon vehicle event) the award is to identify and promote examples of outstanding and innovative NVN funded R&D projects. The award also celebrates the vision and innovation which Nick Carpenter (a serial innovator at the very forefront of the elecrric car revolution) brought to his work throughout his lifetime. 

Starting with a commercial Feasibility project where we investigated the concept of a leaning e-cargo trike, Simpact then led a six month Proof of Concept project that delivered the concept of a zero-emission last mile delivery vehicle in a customer configurable multi-platform offering significant market opportunity worldwide. A key innovation of ALECS is a lightweight flexible composite joint in the frame allowing for the leaning characeteristics. The award was collected by Adrian Williams, Managing Director of Pashley Cycles who led the final stage (Production Readiness) phase of the project.

Scott Thompson, Programme Director, Niche Vehicle Network said: “We’re delighted to confirm today that the ALECS consortium, led by Pashley has been chosen as the inaugural winner of the NVN Nick Carpenter Innovation Trophy this year. What might appear at a passing glance to be quite a traditional vehicle contains a number of innovative elements when you start getting into the details. It’s a great fusion of long standing and iconic British manufacturing combined with modern technology. It utilises vehicle dynamics simulation tools and an innovative tilting & carbon spring mechanism to greatly improve stability and rider confidence. Furthermore, utilises lightweight welded composites and the application of cutting edge game-engine virtual reality modelling to optimise the manufacturing environment. With the flexibility of different cargo-carrying configurations built into the base design, it’s no surprise that there is already significant interest from a broad range of sole traders to ‘blue chip’ fleet operators. Particularly for inner city and urban areas, the potential to replace the use of vans, cars and motorcycles for deliveries with a highly efficient, zero emissions solution that can also reduce congestion is an exciting prospect. I’m sure Nick would have really appreciated all those little details and innovations – technical, commercial, manufacturing & environmental – that combine to make it such a worthy winner.”

The Innovation Award Trophy has been created by Ariel Motor Company, with a unique and dedicated design, manufactured from Titanium using 3D printing that pushed this specific technology to its limit.

The Titanium base is comprised of spiralling rectangular elements, each signifying a distinct idea or innovation.  15 ‘idea’ elements around the base symbolise the 15 years of vision and innovative thinking that Nick poured into Delta Motorsport. Each ‘idea’ rests on and supports the others within the structure. The disparate ideas gradually move closer together as each draws in and upwards toward the optimal conclusion.  Together, these thoughts and dreams support a great design and engineering achievement. The refined upper section of the 3D print, and the removable machined Aluminium piece represent the culmination of the innovation, which is dependent on all the brave ideas which made it possible.

There are 51 notches around the top of the trophy to remember each of the years of Nick’s life. Within the 3D printed structure of the Titanium trophy base there needed to be a way to allow Titanium dust (from which the trophy is formed) to be poured out after the printing process was completed, 2 large and 2 small vents are used here to represent Nick, his wife and their 2 children respectively.