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News Link • Energy

Mazda's new gas engines challenge electricity for Earth friendliness

•, Robin Burks
  The company thinks that while hybrid and electric cars are great, they still aren’t all that realistic, particularly for those people who can’t afford the (often substantial) premium over gas-powered vehicles. So instead of focusing on electricity, Mazda decided to look at existing gas-powered vehicles. The company has created a new super-efficient gasoline engine called the Sky-Activ-G Generation 2, which manages to run cleaner than existing electric cars.
Current gasoline engines are horribly inefficient, wasting almost 70% of the fuel put into them. Mazda’s first goal in creating the Sky-Activ-G was to get rid of some of that waste and make gasoline do more with less, increasing fuel efficiency. Instead of spark plugs, pistons are used for compression, similar to a diesel engine. These pistons, however, have domes on them, which raises the engine’s compression ratio. Of course, this also raises temperature inside the engine, so to keep things from getting too hot, the company designed a new fuel injection system. Mazda also substantially decreased friction inside the engine by improving its parts. The result of all of these incremental improvements isn't just better fuel economy, but also a gas engine that reduces overall CO2 emissions per distance traveled down to electric car levels, if you consider the non-renewable energy sources that the electricity used to charge those cars come from.

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