Gal Fridman, co-founder of Aquarius Engines, with the firm’s single-piston car engine [image credit: phys.org / Aquarius]
Too good to be true? If not, what might the future hold for this innovation? Phys.org takes a look.
An Israeli firm says a super-efficient engine it has created could drastically reduce fuel consumption and help power an auto industry revolution as manufacturers search for environmentally sound alternatives.
Industry analysts, however, question the reinvented internal combustion engine’s chances of success at a time when purely electric car technology is advancing and attracting investors.
The invention from Israeli-based Aquarius Engines is currently being discussed by France’s Peugeot, the firm said.
Aquarius says the cost of the engine will be as low as $100 (92 euros). According to the firm, the engine can allow cars to travel more than 1,600 kilometres (990 miles) on a single tank of fuel, more than double current distances.
Aquarius’s technology works by stripping back the traditional engine under the bonnet. It replaces the combustion engine with its multiple pistons thrusting up and down with a single piston that goes side-to-side.
It has fewer than 20 parts and a single action, the company said. In tests by the German engineering company FEV, the Aquarius engine’s efficiency was more than double that of traditional engines.
Aquarius’s Fridman argued there is too much “hype” around purely electric cars, and that their actual popularity is limited because of small ranges and high prices.
“50,000 units is nothing,” he said of Tesla’s projected sales.
“It is amazing as there has been a push from governments, municipalities, etc. And still after 15 years the segment is not really successful.”