According to the Associated Press, General Motors is working on an engine that could be 15% more fuel efficient than the engines currently on the market. The press release says the following about GM’s biofriendly technology:
“The announcement comes as fuel economy has become an increasingly important issue as gasoline prices have risen. Foreign automakers have captured a bigger share of the U.S. market in part by emphasizing fuel efficiency.”
“The process GM is testing, called homogeneous charge compression ignition, approaches the fuel efficiency of a diesel engine without the need for advanced pollution controls, the company said in a statement.”
“It is being tested in two drivable concept vehicles, a Saturn Aura and an Opel Vectra, and was to be shown to reporters Friday at GM’s proving ground in Milford, Mich.”
“The process ignites an air-fuel mixture in the cylinders by compressing it, producing a low-temperature, flameless energy release in the combustion chamber, the company said. Since all the fuel in the combustion chamber is burned at the same time, the engine uses less fuel to produce power that is similar to conventional engines.”
Of course this technology probably still has a long way to go before we see a working version of it in a production car, but I find it heartening to see big company like GM working on new innovations to use less fuel. The bottom line when it comes to global warming is this, less total fuel burned means less total carbon dioxide as well as less other harmful emissions. Less harmful emissions and carbon dioxide mean a healthier environment.