Fortescue Metals Group, owned by Andrew Forrest [also known as ‘Twiggy’, but not that Twiggy], has purchased Williams Advanced Engineering. WAE was spun off from Williams F1 years ago in an effort to gain the racing team some funding, and has been the brains behind a number of important car advancements in the last decade or so. Not only is WAE responsible for the development of Formula E, but it also worked with Singer on the advanced DLS, and Jaguar on the concept C-X75.
Fortescue, in turn, is the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world, so yeah, they have plenty of money. The company is allegedly working to reach net-zero by 2030, and it would probably take an advanced engineering firm to make that happen. Perhaps that’s where Williams comes in.
Williams Advanced Engineering is no stranger to electric propulsion. Back in 2017 the company debuted a 2400-pound EV skateboard with all-wheel drive and 650 horsepower which it offered to any automaker needing to get a jump on electric drive. It is also working with Triumph Motorcycles to develop that brand’s first electric sport bike. And of course there is Williams’ work with Formula E that speaks for itself.
Williams has already worked with Fortescue on an advanced all-electric mining truck, so the new owners are well aware of that which the firm is capable. Is it possible to get a mining firm to be totally carbon neutral? Perhaps with a boat load of money and a whole lot of brains. Electric trucks are just the start.
There’s no telling what Williams Advanced Engineering might be capable of with the multiple billions of dollars in Twiggy’s pockets. Could they finance revolutions? Probably. Could they make the world a cleaner place to live? I guess if that’s what he wants to do. I’d love to see what double digit billions could do to advance carbon capture technology. Get someone on that.