Mazda is developing a new petrol engine technology that could end up being as clean as an EV unit.
According to Mazda’s powertrain boss, Mitsuo Hitomi, the main goal is to boost thermal efficiency, thus reducing the amount of combustion energy lost to heat, while increasing the amount that’s harnessed.
Hitomi stated that if the automaker can increase thermal efficiency in its engines by 27% (hitting 56%), it will then achieve emissions on par with those of an electrified vehicle. Furthermore, if carbon dioxide emissions can be cut by 25%, Mazda’s gasoline engines will be able to go wheel-to-wheel with EVs when it comes to fuel economy.
Based on Mazda’s own calculations, once all activity is measured, some EVs are actually dirtier than some of the world’s most fuel-efficient petrol-powered cars.
While Hitomi would not offer a timeline for the arrival of these new-generation Skyactiv-3 engines, he did mention that such technology would give internal combustion engines more of a fighting chance to endure in the long run.