Misfuelling mainly occurs when drivers of diesel cars accidentally fill up with petrol, as the nozzle from a diesel fuel pump is larger than a petrol one. According to the AA, the number of the motorists who put the wrong type of fuel in their car in the UK has doubled over the last ten years, and now affects an estimated 150,000 drivers.
A solution to this growing problem was devised by an independent inventor, Martin White, who then partnered with the SciTech Innovation Hub at the University of Wolverhampton to develop the design and patent rights to bring the idea into reality.
The Caparo RightFuel device prevents motorists putting petrol in diesel cars. It is being taken to market by Caparo Vehicle Products, who have licensed the rights to the invention from the University of Wolverhampton and gone on to prepare the device for mass production. It is initially being sold to fleet vehicle operators and hire car companies, who suffer huge financial losses from the misfuelling problem. It will also be available to buy in September by individuals who can register their interest at http://www.caparo.com/ or www.wlv.ac.uk/rightfuel
Andrew Pollard, from the University’s Caparo Innovation Centre, said: “The device comprises a special filler cap, which is installed as a direct replacement for the vehicle’s existing fuel filler cap, and includes a physical barrier across the fuel intake aperture.
“The device is designed so that when a diesel fuel filler nozzle is inserted, the physical barrier swings out of the way allowing fuel to be added to the vehicle. The device can distinguish between petrol and diesel fuelling nozzles and will not open when someone attempts to insert the smaller diameter petrol nozzle, therefore preventing the wrong fuel being added to the vehicle.
“We are delighted to have partnered with the inventor Martin White and Caparo Vehicle Products to develop this innovative product which could save thousands of pounds for companies and individuals.”
Motorists can expect bills of between £150 and £300 just to drain incorrect fuel from a vehicle, and repair bills of several thousand pounds if the vehicle engine runs with the wrong fuel as this causes serious damage to the engine.
The invention was included on the Chris Evans Drivetime Radio 2 Show on Friday (Aug 1) in their regular feature highlighting promising new product ideas.
Picture: The Caparo RightFuel device
For media inquiries, contact Vickie Woodward in the Press Office on 01902 322736 or 07973 335112.
A European Patent has been applied for to protect the intellectual property behind this innovation.
The Caparo Innovation Centre (CIC), a joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and steel multinational Caparo Plc, was established in early 2003 with the aim of helping inventors to transform new product ideas into commercial products. Based at the Wolverhampton Science Park, the CIC team comprises of engineering, product development and marketing professionals, who work with the inventor to strengthen the business case for promising new product ideas.
The CIC has been established under a basic principle that it does not require any upfront financial commitment from inventors. Instead the centre generates revenue by agreeing a percentage of the proceeds in the event that the product is commercialised, this system means that the CIC are as committed to commercialising the product ideas as the inventors are.
If you would like to find out more about the Caparo Innovation Centre or have a new product innovation you would like to discuss, please contact Professor Andrew Pollard on 01902 824182, email email@example.com or visit www.help4inventors.co.uk