Let there be blog!
For some reason it never really occurred to us to write a blog about the many fascinating things going on at Vantage Power. My excuse is that we’ve all been incredibly busy on building the heavy-duty vehicle powertrain of the future, and playing around with battery packs, CADding up some really innovative engineering solutions, or tinkering with our 3D printers always seemed to take priority!
But now we want to share some of our thoughts, experiences and ideas with you, and if there’s anything here that takes your fancy or raises some questions, get in touch - we’d love to hear from you!
I’ll start with a bit of an overview of the last few years, and speedily bring you up to the present day. Toby - our CTO and co-founder - and I met in 2009 while we were finishing off our degrees at Imperial College London, and we started working together on a project I had recently created called Racing Green Endurance (RGE).
RGE’s aim was to design and build the world’s longest range and sexiest looking electric car, and prove the viability of this technology by driving it down the Pan-American Highway - the longest road in the world! This turned out to be a life-changing adventure filled with many thrills and spills, and if you’d like to read more about that, feel free to check out the blog here.
By January 2011 we had finished the project and were considering what to do next. RGE had shown us that a) battery and electric vehicle technology was awesome and we loved it, and b) pretty much anything can be accomplished by putting your mind to it. We started Vantage Power as a way of capitalising on this experience, and spent the next 9 months brainstorming and trying out a few ideas.
By October 2011 we had settled on the idea of designing a hybrid system that could be retrofitted into existing buses, and just 2 short months after that, we had the opportunity to pitch the idea to Ensignbus - the UK’s largest bus dealer. Excited by the concept, they gave us a double-decker bus to start prototyping with, and gave us the credibility we needed to raise the money we needed to get the business going. That showed Ensign’s amazing foresight and entrepreneurialism - it’s doubtful we’d have come as far as we have without their input - and that highly productive relationship continues to this day.
2012 saw us meet an incredible bunch of investors who put up the seed capital to get us going, and by January 2013 we were installed in our first office/workshop. We made rapid progress on the design and build of the first prototype, and our team had grown to 5 members by the end of 2013. In January 2014 our first prototype powered a bus for the first time almost exactly a year to the day since we first moved into our offices.
Fast forward to today, and the team has grown to 30 highly talented and passionate engineers and professionals. We’ve built and tested 2 prototypes, are in production with our first batch of 10 units, and have an amazing group of customers to kick off our sales with.
We’ve come along way since starting up 5 years ago, but the journey has only really just begun. Vantage Power has big ambitions - there are 7 million buses in the world and 660,000 more produced each year. Together they transport billions of passengers each day, and in doing so create harmful emissions affecting the health and quality of life of people in practically every town and city on Earth. Hundreds of billions of pounds is spent on fuel to power these buses each year. We want to be at the forefront of solving this problem - saving bus operators money while making the world a nicer place to live in.