Electric Superbike Wins at Silverstone!

Welcome to the brave new world of electric racing bikes – clean, green and reliable thanks to the technology and support of Curtis Instruments the global industry leader in motor speed control, battery measurement and related electric and hybrid vehicle system technology across all sectors. Curtis’ customer of the moment is ARC EV Engineering Ltd, an engineering company near Derby, formed in 2009 specialising in electric vehicle design and build.

Bike enthusiasts Brendan Rice and Matt Bagshawe - the two principals – combined their love of motorbike racing with an interest in encouraging zero-carbon growth globally, resulting in the creation of a high performance superbike perfectly suited for racing championships on the Isle of Man TT circuit and the MotoE European Championship Cup spread over five events at circuits across Europe.

The notable and proud culmination of this joint partnership saw the ARC EV bike, ridden by Richie Welsh, winning recently at Silverstone!  This prestigious race was the final stage of the 2014 MotoE European Championship Cup. 

Curtis provided their latest E Series AC motor speed controllers for the two High Performance Electric Motors from American company HPEVS, for who ARC are a European dealer. The two 1239E 500 amp controllers provide energy efficient control of AC motors performing vehicle traction drive duties which are mounted onto a specially made water cooled (via the radiator) base plate (their design and build) which helps with heat dissipation.  The huge 170V battery pack sits just in front of the rider and they curve their body around it when they’re riding the bike – at speeds of up to 160mph! 

The superbike operation is monitored by Curtis’ enGage VII colour LCD instrument panel.  This on-board CAN compatible dash display seamlessly integrates with speed controllers and input devices to show high resolution vivid colour details of core functions like battery charge, wheel position, fuel and temperature levels.


Brendan of ARC EV is delighted with this positive progress “We were very excited with our first race win, pulling out a 20 second lead at the finish line and we delivered a lot of positive interest and compliments for Curtis. Their support has always been solid and dependable whilst being flexible for our needs and ensuring safety at all times. Their VCL software language especially enables us to implement and combine key functions whilst improving cost-effective higher performance.   We are looking forward to this advanced format of racing moving ahead, particularly with the appeal of these comparatively quiet and planet friendly machines which currently can reach 215mph”.

Learn more about ARC here

Learn more about the 1239E controller required for this type of project here

Learn more about the enGageVII LCD instrumentation panel here

Or speak to our UK Office for more information on 01604 885201

Curtis Expands Global Product Development Team

MT. KISCO, New York, May 2014 — Curtis Instruments, Inc. announces that Mr. David Miller, a recognized electronics specialist in motor speed controller technology for electric vehicles, has been appointed to the newly created position of Special Engineering Projects Manager – Motor Speed Controllers. His career has spanned more than three decades and has encompassed senior engineering and project manager positions with key responsibilities for new product development. He went on to help found a new startup Motor Speed Controller company based in Europe, becoming Managing Director and helped run the company profitably and successfully for a number of years. In his new position, Mr. Miller will be a key contributor to the design engineering and worldwide product development for the Curtis motor speed controller product lines.

Mr. Miller will report to the Curtis California controller R&D center, home of the famous Curtis PMC controller brand, but will be headquartered in his home office in Newcastle Upon Tyne in North East England. From this locality he will also support major Curtis OEM customers in Europe.

As a multi-disciplined Electronics Engineer with specialist knowledge of battery powered electric vehicle’s and control systems, Mr. Miller joins Curtis with a proven track record of technical innovation coupled with project managerial ability.  Equally  competent  in  both  hardware  and  software  design,  with  in-depth experience of motor speed controllers and most types of popular brushed and brushless motors, he is a specialist in industrial trucks, including airport support vehicles, golf carts, personnel  carriers and other market segments.

Mr. Miller studied at St. Bedes Grammar School, Lanchester, County Durham, and studied Electronics Engineering at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Prior to joining Curtis Instruments, he has had two decades of progressively responsible experience with leading global companies including NEI Electronics; Sevcon Ltd; Digital Motor Control GmbH; and Integral Power Train Ltd.


Mr. Miller is married and resides in Whickham, North East England with his wife Jane and two teenage daughters, Emily and Harriet. In his personal life, David is a keen tennis player but also enjoys playing golf, mountain climbing and is a follower of Formula 1 Racing.

Curtis Controllers keep on track in railway application

Harmill Systems is a company specialising in railway and plant engineering.  Formed by the present Managing Director and based in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, they undertake specialised engineering projects resulting in award winning maintenance equipment for the railway industry.  Harmill design and build systems to help people work safely and efficiently in demanding areas and install their own equipment all over the world.

Over the years, expertise from trusted partners like Curtis Instruments (UK) has been utilised.  Simon Hughes of Harmill regards Curtis “as a specialist company with a good reputation”.  On occasions when technical assistance has been required Mr Hughes states Curtis have been found to be “very helpful with their in depth knowledge and we enjoy the connection that has developed”.

This collaboration has been running now for several years and has helped produce a number of different machines, the latest being a battery powered multidirectional tug designed for moving carriages, bogies and other rail equipment around busy maintenance depots; it easily transfers from rail to ground to switch tracks ready for the next task. This 80 volt four-wheel drive 4-wheel steer tug utilises canbus technology and is operated by remote control ensuring safety and complete control for the user, as well as helping to achieve lower operating and maintenance costs. A full colour display keeps the operator informed of battery state of charge and system status.

Harmill prefer Curtis’ E-Series Motor Controllers as they offer a superior combination of power, performance, functionality and, being fully compliant to EN ISO 13849-1, are CE marked as safety components.  A very important factor for the sector in which these machines operate.

By working in conjunction with Curtis Customer Support Engineers, essential equipment components are shown to meet current and projected safety requirements, are CE marked and provided with all necessary compliance documentation, meaning Harmill designers have one less concern and can proceed with their designs in confidence.


Another Harmill range utilising Curtis E-Series Controllers, Gauges, Displays and Tiller Heads are powered hand carts and units. These include 500kg and 300kg carts with large wheels, a small turning radius and the ability to handle inclines and declines, making it ideal in tough environments for precision tasks like filling gearboxes with exact amounts of oil at the press of a button, or more general tasks like transporting tools or equipment in confined spaces.

Harmill plan more collaboration with Curtis as “the products meet every need for best performance, particularly the likes of the motor controllers and the VCL system for customised controller programming” and Simon Hughes sums up the Curtis connection with a hint of plans for the future by stating “...we are developing new products such as big road and rail vehicles with Curtis in mind to maintain our market leadership”.

Further information on Harmill Systems is available at  Information on the systems and services available from Curtis can be found at or by calling 01604 885201.

Curtis (UK) gains ISO 14001:2001

In December 2013 Curtis Instruments (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of Curtis instruments Inc., was awarded ISO 14001:2004, a certification by BSI in acknowledgment of the company's successful implementation of an Environmental Management System.

The ISO 14000 series of international environmental management standards, first introduced in 1996, provides a common framework for managing environmental issues including compliance with environmental regulations and continual improvement in the areas of environmental performance.

The accreditation is given to companies whose operations minimise their impact on the environment, comply with all applicable laws, regulations and environmental standards and are focused on continual improvements to environmental sustainability.

It is the worldwide policy of Curtis to design, manufacture and distribute all its products and to handle and dispose of all materials without creating unacceptable health, safety or environmental risks and the nature of their operation alone, has been facilitating zero emissions since 1960. 

 The Curtis UK Operation provides Sales, Manufacturing, Logistics, Technical Development, Support and Aftersales Service and typifies Curtis’ ongoing global commitment to the highest standards of quality, environmental care, and dedication to exceed the expectations of its customers and the community at large.

Curtis is engaged in a companywide Environmental Management System effort to attain ISO 14001:2004 certification.  These goals have already been achieved by Curtis’ New York HQ, manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico and China as well as Curtis Sales subsidiaries in Sweden, France and now the UK.  The programme is ongoing and Curtis looks forward to achieving this certification throughout every area of operation.

Further information can be obtained by contacting the company direct at their Northampton office on 01604 629755 or by visiting or learn more about Curtis' global policy at





A New Addition to the Family! - next E-Series speed controller released

Curtis is delighted to announce that the new Model 1234E AC controller, the second model of the ‘E’ series, is now released.   The ‘E’ series utilize a powerful dual-microprocessor logic core that meets all relevant requirements of the EN ISO 13849-1:200 functional safety standard, and the updated EN 1175-1:1998+A1:2010 industrial truck safety standard.

Improvements over the earlier Model 1234 include:

■ Powerful dual-micro logic core allows full compliance with EN ISO 13849-1, eliminating the need for any additional safety/supervisory control modules.

■ Faster 64MHz micro improves motor control, and more than doubles the VCL code execution speed.

■ Additional FLASH memory gives twice the available VCL code space.

■ Increased CAN Master capabilities with 6 additional VCL CAN ‘mailboxes.’

The Curtis model 1234E delivers best-in-class control of AC induction motors and offers the highest levels of functional safety. It is designed for use as the traction controller on class 3 materials handling ‘walkie’ vehicles and other small battery-powered industrial trucks. It is equally suitable as the pump controller for auxiliary hydraulic functions on larger industrial vehicles. Like all Curtis AC controllers, this model features:

Curtis VCL™—Vehicle Control Language is an easy to use programming language that allows vehicle developers to write powerful logic functions and create a ‘virtual system controller’.

Indirect Field Orientation (IFO) vector control algorithm generates the maximum possible torque and efficiency across the entire speed range for superb drive ‘feel’, improved speed regulation and superior gradient climbing capability.

Curtis Auto-Tune function enables quick and easy characterization of the motor without having to remove it from the vehicle. Curtis AC controllers are fully compatible with any brand of AC induction motor.

Dual-Drive functionality is standard, allowing correct control of applications featuring twin traction motors. This function ensures smooth and safe operation, minimal tire wear and correct load sharing between the traction motors at all times. 


Configurable CANbus connection allows communication with other CANbus enabled devices.  The Model 1234E is CANopen compatible and can accommodate both 11-bit and 29-bit CAN protocols of various profiles.

Integrated System Controller—More than just a motor controller, it is also powerful system controller. The 1234E features a comprehensive allocation of multi-function I/O pins for use as analog inputs, digital inputs, contactor coil drivers and proportional valve drivers. This controller is also capable of functioning as a full CAN system master, using VCL to map and configure the remote I/O available on other CANbus devices, send messages to CAN displays and thus control and monitor the entire system.

The new Model 1234 E is available in 24V 350A, 36-48V 275A, 36-48V 350A, and 48-80V 250A  versions.

Call Curtis on 01604 885201 for more information.

The Secret Life of Batteries - electric vehicle battery monitoring instruments and systems

Battery management is a complex issue for fleet managers and other end users. For reasons of productivity, safety and cost control, it is essential to know how long the life of your valuable traction battery will be, what the state of charge is, how healthy the battery is, along with other key aspects of battery functionality. 

We all know that damage, premature depletion and improper battery maintenance and use can lead to vehicle downtime or costly battery replacement.  Several years ago Eugene Finger wrote The Battery Book, a specialist study concerning the science of battery life.  Finger was a Curtis Instruments engineer whose comprehensive analysis of battery functionality became the standard industry reference. His book is still available to read at our specialist site, EV Battery Monitoring, and is an amazing resource to understanding EV battery technology, charging and energy usage.

Another article recently written by Curtis Engineering provides further insight into how Curtis’ early-generation BDIs, mostly used on forklift trucks, helped in the development of a new monitoring system that measures both current and voltage whilst traveling with the battery, producing the most accurate assessment of the state-of-charge (SOC).

More on this research and the development of the Acuity battery monitoring system is detailed in this article.

For further details on Curtis Battery Monitoring Instruments and Systems, call us on 01604 885201.

It's all NEW at Curtis! - new brochure, website, LED beacon and work lamp range

Curtis Instruments UK are delighted to announce that their new enhanced corporate website has gone live  -  at  -  underwriting 40 years of delivering superb vehicle technology solutions to the UK and Ireland.

The site has a fresh new look with a clean, simple layout and user-friendly navigation, all updated with the latest information about our products and services. 

Special emphasis is given to several market leading new products like; E-Series AC Speed Controllers that fully comply with EN ISO 13849-1:2009 (and the updated EN 1175-1:1998 + A1:2010) to offer versatile CE-COMPLIANT safety for battery powered industrial trucks; the ACUITY Battery Monitoring System, a complete solution for fleet battery management; plus a full range of updated low cost LED beacons and worklamps. 

The updated product pages contain information about existing products like speed controllers for AC, SEPEX, PM and SERIES motors, colour LCD CAN vehicle instrumentation, Hour Meters and Battery State of Charge instruments like the 803 and 906, as well as safety products like reverse alarms, steering sensors, code switches, throttles and foot pedals. 

Easy to find links take you to videos, datasheets and manuals, news pages and technical specifications.  Hopefully something of interest and use for engineers, designers, buyers, dealers and end users interested all types of solutions for vehicle technology!

A newly updated corporate brochure has been designed at the same time and can be viewed on the website in different formats, alternatively a hard copy can be obtained easily by either completing the form on the website, or calling their Northampton office on 01604 885201. 

Visit to view competitively priced High Frequency Battery chargers, plus the innovative rapid charge, low maintenance PRIMOPulse, whose low power onsumption and increased battery life provides fast return on investment.   The full range of chargers are backed with long warranty periods and a maintenance network of Charger Service Agents operating across the Country.


Curtis takes particular pride in the design of tailored solutions created by expert customer support engineers with decades of experience in the industry, who will be with you through all stages of design and on-site installation.  Further information on the services offered can be found again, on the new site, or by contacting the UK Head Office in 01604 885201.

For many years the company has embraced the Clean & Green ethos,  creating technology for zero-emission “green” vehicles long before it became a buzzword!

So, for ongoing ethical and technical education Curtis urge readers to sign up to receive Curtis e-mail news and product updates direct to your inbox.  

All of which adds up to The Curtis Difference, making sure you “feel it when you drive it”.

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