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Fering Pioneer enters second phase of development as it climbs towards production

Byadmin

Jan 25, 2023
  • Funding secured for the second testing phase and expansion
  • Initial testing phase complete, Prototype 1 now being stripped down for analysis and upgrade
  • Prototypes 2 & 3 due for completion in early 2023 and will be evaluated by first customers
  • Full production vehicles due in 2024

A British adventure vehicle start-up has entered the second phase of its development program to create a truly pioneering electrified pick-up, designed to take on the toughest of terrains while treading lightly on the planet.

The Fering Pioneer is the brainchild of ex-Ferrari and McLaren engineer Ben Scott-Geddes, who has repurposed supercar and racing technology to create an off-road vehicle which is compact, lightweight and unusually efficient.

The company has completed the first phase of prototype testing and has now secured funding for phase two. Obtaining finance is often the most difficult part of any niche vehicle production, but investors have been won over by the business plan and impressive capabilities of the Pioneer prototype when demonstrated at test days.

The funding will allow two further prototypes to be built, which will be made to the specifications of Fering’s first confirmed customers. These organisations, which will be announced at a later date, intend to make full use of the Pioneer’s off-grid and off-road capabilities in truly challenging environments.

After months of testing at the famous Millbrook Proving Ground, mainly in the gruelling off road and military test areas, the Pioneer Prototype #1 has proved it is exceptionally capable. Ben Scott-Geddes said: “Driving over the obstacles showed the very good natural ability of the Pioneer in severe off-road conditions. It was able to traverse all the physical standard obstacles we tried without any issue, including those intended to challenge much larger and extreme military vehicles. The off-road capability is exceptional, proving our design philosophy of low overall weight, large diameter tyres and long wheel travel works brilliantly.”

Pioneer Prototype #1 is currently being stripped down to check, measure, and upgrade components. But it is far from retired and will be back out testing alongside its newer siblings shortly.

Despite its imposing appearance, the Pioneer is no larger in any direction than a typical delivery van and is shorter than a Ford Mondeo Estate. It also weighs the same as a family hatchback and less than half the figures for some electric and hybrid 4x4s.

Power to the axles is provided solely by two electric motors – unusual for an off-road vehicle. But they are perfectly suited to the task, providing instant torque, controllability, and reliability. They provide a total of 800Nm of torque; far more than a comparable diesel 4×4.

A battery provides a zero local emission, electric-only range of around 50 miles. The Pioneer’s range extender generator is then available to give ability to keep going to the end of your adventure. The powerpacks are designed to survive in extreme temperatures.

Customers will be able to specify their vehicles to be configured with different combinations of battery pack and range extender fuel to cater for local conditions and operational needs.

The Pioneer’s unique and distinctive appearance is partly due to the use of fabric for many of the body panels. This special material is similar to that used in hiking boots and marine sails, making it light in weight, strong and easy to repair. It also has far better insulation properties – for both noise and heat – than traditional metal or composite.

“Using fabric instead of metal for the panels was always going to require some open-minded assessment from our customers, and I’m pleased to report that everyone who has seen it in action has been completely convinced,” says Scott-Geddes. “In fact, we are planning on expanding the use of the fabric to other parts of the vehicle, such as the inner wings, where we are sure it will have excellent noise insulation properties in addition to saving weight and complexity.”

The next stage of Fering’s development will see the Pioneer going into low volume production in late 2023 or early 2024, followed by larger scale batch production in 2025.

By admin