Mazda has fine ambitions for future gasoline engine

Mazda has fine ambitions for future gasoline engine

We get it. Car-makers say they are on board for a next chapter in the electrification of cars and they have teams dedicated to developing cars toward that end. Well-known brands are looking at alternative-fuel solutions such as hybrid or all-electric. It seems as if the internal combustion engine will be on its way out.

But wait. Mazda's engineers have been thinking about the future, aka Skyactiv-3. gasoline-powered vehicles could be around longer than you imagined. As a PCMag headline put it, "The Internal Combustion Engine Isn't Going Anywhere Just Yet."

Kyle Hyatt, news and features editor, Roadshow, summarized the news. "Mazda announced at a technical conference in Tokyo that if it can bump the of its high-compression Skyactiv-G gasoline engines by 27 percent, to a total of 57 percent, that it can reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent, making its as clean as electric vehicles."

PCMag columnist Doug Newcomb said, "Mazda has been fine-tuning the good ol' internal-combustion engine (ICE) for better miles per gallon."

Mazda's powertrain chief talked about the future during an automotive technical conference and he called the future engine technology Skyactiv-3.

Mircea Panait wrote on Monday in autoevolution that of all the Japanese automakers out there, Infiniti and Mazda were the most focused on developing internal combustion technology.

Namely, they are working on another generation of Skyactiv high-compression engines, said Automotive News.

This is all about the SkyActiv-3 tech. The priority is to boost the thermal efficiency.

Quoted in Automotive News, Mitsuo Hitomi, Mazda's managing executive officer in charge of powertrain, said that if Mazda can increase the thermal efficiency of its third-generation Skyactiv engine by about 27 percent, to 56 percent, it can achieve emissions on a par with an EV.

David Tracy in Jalopnik said it will "offer efficiency levels that could yield overall CO2 output similar to that of some EVs."

When? "Hitomi did not offer a timeline for delivering the Skyactiv-3 technology," said Hans Greimel, Automotive News.

Actually, Mazda's focus on improving fuel efficiency goes back several years. Newcomb said in PCMag, "It's been successfully doing this via its Skyactiv technology that was introduced in 2011 and, simply put, uses high compression within an engine's cylinders to increase fuel efficiency as well as output."

Newcomb also said, "Mazda believes ICE engines will play a prominent role in cars at least until 2050, which is why the automaker hasn't completely climbed on the alt-fuel bandwagon compared to much larger competitors."

Adnan Farooqui weighed in on Tuesday in Ubergizmo. "According to a report, Mazda's 56 percent goal will post a 27 percent improvement in thermal efficiency of existing Mazda engines. It's ambitious to say the least," he said.

Steve Hanley in Gas2: "One can only speculate whether such efficient engines might induce the nations who say they want to ban engines to change their minds."

"While Mazda is co-developing battery cars with Toyota Motor Corp., it has largely focused on refining performance through its Skyactiv fuel-efficient technology," said Jie Ma in Bloomberg in a January 17 article.


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Jan 31, 2018
Could someone explain how the emissions from a gasoline car, are 'on par' with an electric car??? The Electric car has NO EMISSIONS!!!!

Jan 31, 2018
" Could someone explain how the emissions from a gasoline car, are 'on par' with an electric car??? The Electric car has NO EMISSIONS!!!! "

Perhaps they are just irrationally assuming that all the electricity generated to recharge the electric car batteries must inevitably come from filthy coal-powered power stations that belch out vast amounts of smoke and perhaps the concept of the possibility of that electricity coming from renewables (or some other cleaner source) is just completely beyond them?

Jan 31, 2018
"Perhaps they are just irrationally assuming that all the electricity generated to recharge the electric car batteries must inevitably come from filthy coal-powered power stations that belch out vast amounts of smoke and perhaps the concept of the possibility of that electricity coming from renewables (or some other cleaner source) is just completely beyond them?"

Perhaps you are irrationally assuming that all energy that nations will produce will come from renewable resources in a sustainable/economical fashion? In case you've been living under a rock these past few years, the world population is raising and more and more countries are going to start consuming more and more energy inline with the rest of the world. Also the above comment about how the electric car has NO emissions is blatantly missing the point and quite misleading.

Jan 31, 2018
Renewables are already the cheapest energy in many places, and produces more electricity in Europe than coal.

Jan 31, 2018
Internal combustion engines need not go the way of the dinosaur, they just need to stop burning dinosaurs. If the liquid or gaseous fuel is generated from renewable sources, ICE makes a lot of sense. You obviate all those pesky battery-charging problems, you don't have to lay down permanent infrastructure in the form of power lines to every corner of the earth, etc.

But it will always be better to have a more efficient engine. Why waste the fuel, even if it is renewable? As someone just said, the population is rising, so best to make every drop do more work.

What I don't get is, why are they messing around with gasoline engines at all? Diesel is inherently more efficient, already exceeds the goal they are stretching for, and it's mechanically simpler. Couple it with a generator and electric motors on the wheels (just like diesel trains), and you're done. Just tune it to control NOX emissions; the carbon won't matter if it's renewable fuel.

Jan 31, 2018
"
Perhaps you are irrationally assuming that all energy that nations will produce will come from renewable resources in a sustainable/economical fashion? "

chemhaznet1

1, I just said "...(or some other cleaner source) ..." thus clearly indicating not ALL future clean energy sources would necessarily come from renewables. I would imagine some would come from nuclear (perhaps ~20%?) which would be, at least with the most modern up-to-date nuclear power stations with all the greatly improved safety features, clean enough.

2, since there is much renewables ALREADY in use that is clearly sustainable/economical, it isn't merely an assumption that renewables can be sustainable/economical but rather an empirical fact. But even in the very old days before the use of fossil fuels, there clearly was sustainable/economical renewables thus proving they can be. Haven't you ever heard of those windmills used to grind corn?


Jan 31, 2018
"that it can reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent, making its internal combustion engines as CLEAN as electric vehicles.""

By what argument can they state this?

An increase in efficiency will most likely prolong the use of internal combustion engines.

Jan 31, 2018
Some people just can't read the writing on the wall.

Feb 01, 2018
"since there is much renewables ALREADY in use"


"Renewables" account for 19% of the total energy use in the EU, and that's including old existing hydropower which accounts for the majority of it. Solar/wind count for only about 8-9% of the total.

The world is still 80% fossil fuels, and using EVs is just shifting the emissions to a different smokestack. That's because, if you use the renewable energy for the purpose of charging an EV, someone else then automatically uses fossil fuel power to do whatever they are doing, and vice versa.

Even if your whole state is powered by hydro/wind/solar on paper, if you charge an EV, then someone out of state won't be able to buy that power from you and they have to burn gas or coal instead, so the emissions are shared on the level of the whole system. You being "green" here simply causes someone else to emit CO2 over there.

Plus, there's also the CO2 emissions from manufacturing the EVs, batteries, windwills, panels etc.

Feb 01, 2018
"renewables ALREADY in use that is clearly sustainable/economical"


Almost everywhere in the world, renewables (other than hydro) are sustained by massive subsidy programs, and market fixing such as Net Metering which forces utilities to buy the electricity at full retail price by replacing it kWh for kWh.

The moment the EU slashed wind power subsidies, because they were getting unbearably expensive, investments in new wind power practically died out because it was no longer profitable. That's because the companies that were building them were merely cashing in on the subsidies instead of developing the cost-effectiveness of the technologies. They were putting them in poor and marginal locations just because the land was cheap, and using older cheaper turbines.

The same is in store for the US. The technology isn't ready yet, and there's going to be, and there has to be, a renewables crash before it starts to get better and actually viable.

Feb 01, 2018
" there's also the CO2 emissions from manufacturing the EVs, batteries, windwills, panels etc. "
Eikka

And if we go carbon neutral then there won't be any such CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels; what's your point?
Why are you so against going carbon neutral?
Have you got shares in the oil industry or what exactly?
None of your idiotic rhetoric against going carbon neutral stands up to any scientific scrutiny.


Feb 01, 2018
" "Renewables" account for 19% of the total energy use in the EU "
Eikka

So what? Is the concept of INCREASING that "19%", to the point where we go carbon neutral, completely beyond you? Are you implying that "19%" must always stay as "19%"?

Feb 02, 2018
I wonder what the octane and compression ratio will be for the new engines. Higher compression ratios generally require higher octane fuels.

It looks like to me, the difference is fuel is injected directly into the cylinder, earlier in the intake stroke than for normal Otto cycle engines. The shape of the piston face, and possibly the cylinder head induce a very turbulent charge, allowing a very lean mixture that is resistant to predetonation.
The Honda civic VX used a similar technique to enable an ultra lean mixture at idle. I always wondered why the ultra lean mixture was not also used during low engine speed, low load conditions, such as when you were driving on level ground at a steady 55 mph. The charge was made turbulent by only opening one intake cylinder below 2500 RPM. It's a great little engine with a torque curve somewhere between normal Otto cycle engines, and Diesel cycle engines. Huge torque at low RPM, and zero engine knock, no matter what.

Feb 02, 2018
I don't think you are considering just how much fossil fuel is used to build EVs, particularly the batteries, and how much is used to make your precious photovoltaics.
Consider the benefit of buying a thermally efficient used ICE car, driving sparingly, and spending the money you save on installing PV. You could easily
end up with a 15kW grid tied system. That might actually be a carbon negative strategy.

Feb 02, 2018
" I don't think you are considering just how much fossil fuel is used to build EVs, particularly the batteries, and how much is used to make your precious photovoltaics. "

If we go carbon neutral then, assuming no carbon burial used, no fossil fuels will be burned to build them.

Feb 02, 2018
" I don't think you are considering just how much fossil fuel is used to build EVs, particularly the batteries, and how much is used to make your precious photovoltaics. "

If we go carbon neutral then, assuming no carbon burial used to go carbon neutral, no fossil fuels will be burned to build them. The technology to build them and their energy efficiency is improving all the time. Didn't you know that?

+ , even now, the fossil fuels burned to make solar panels are generally less than the fossil fuels saved from being burned by the solar panels during their whole of their operational use so, even now, there is a net saving in fossil fuels burned from solar panels.


Feb 02, 2018
woops! I somehow double-posted. Didn't mean that.

Feb 02, 2018
It really is amazing how the fossil fuel promoters think in less-than-zero-sum terms, and as though the way things are at this very second is the only way to do things. If that were true, humans never would have invented stone tools. We would be huddling around the embers of fires that were started by lightning strikes.

Of course we will need to burn SOME fossil fuels during the transition OFF OF fossil fuels. On the non-zero-sum side of this discussion, we are talking about the future state we need to get to, not "but at this very moment the grid depends on...."

Get your heads out of wherever they are. More solar energy hits the earth than we can use. We are extremely wasteful with the energy resources we do use. All of that can be improved by smart people with dedication to that goal.

You claim to be smart and seem to know a lot, technically. Then pull in the same direction, stop quibbling over the current state (which we agree a priori is not ideal).

Feb 02, 2018
"It really is amazing how the fossil fuel promoters think in less-than-zero-sum terms, and as though the way things are at this very second is the only way to do things. "
dnatwork

Yes, I often noticed that.
There was a time when humanity didn't burn fossil fuels and, despite their technology being primitive compared with what we have now, generally survived well enough. So, logically, it must surely be possible for humanity to once again survived well enough without burn fossil fuels as we now have advanced technology for renewables and nuclear etc that humanity didn't have before. And yet, according to the same idiotic 'logic' expressed by many of those fossil fuel promoters, it is impossible to do so. But then if it is impossible to do so then it certainly must have be impossible to do so in the past when we did NOT have the advantage of the very advanced technology we have now! And yet it DID happen in the past thus proving it IS possible. They make no sense whatsoever.

Feb 04, 2018
"And if we go carbon neutral then there won't be any such CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels; what's your point?"


The point is, we are not there yet, and won't be for a good 20-30 years with the rate of things going - so there's no point in making such a hoopla over EVs when they are not actually helping you at this point.

If you want to reduce emissions NOW, you reduce them by using less fossil fuels, and if a new gasoline engine does it cheaper than buying battery electric cars, then the most sensible thing to do is exactly that.

EVs are a pie in the sky solution that work in a perfect world, where you don't need Chinese coal for cheap energy to produce cheap solar panels to make "clean" energy. Until then, more practical solutions prevail.

Feb 04, 2018
Besides, an internal combustion engine with 57% efficiency rivals hydrogen fuel cells in efficiency, which means you can use synthetic clean fuels made out of renewable energy without the huge efficiency penalty - without paying a lot to change any of the fundamental technology or infrastructure.

Since renewable energy needs to be stored in very large amounts, cost effectively, and the only good way to do it is by turning it into liquid fuels, there's no sense in then turning those liquid fuels back into electricity to charge up an EV - when you can just pour it in your fuel tank and drive off like always.


Feb 06, 2018
Besides, an internal combustion engine with 57% efficiency rivals hydrogen fuel cells in efficiency, which means you can use synthetic clean fuels made out of renewable energy without the huge efficiency penalty - without paying a lot to change any of the fundamental technology or infrastructure.

Since renewable energy needs to be stored in very large amounts, cost effectively, and the only good way to do it is by turning it into liquid fuels, there's no sense in then turning those liquid fuels back into electricity to charge up an EV - when you can just pour it in your fuel tank and drive off like always.



Just what I said. See? We do agree. Just need to emphasize the solution rather than the bumps in the road.

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