Is it the end of the internal combustion engine?

Posted on 14 Nov 2017 and read 198 times
Is it the end of the internal combustion engine?If media reports are to be believed, the days of the internal combustion engine (ICE) are numbered. However, according to Northampton-based automotive-engineering company Cosworth (www.cosworth.com), the discussion around all-electric mobility has overlooked the important advances being made in ICE technology to improve fuel efficiency and reduce air pollution.

Cosworth is playing an important role in both areas.

Commercial director Chris Willoughby said: “There is a lot of discussion about the move to all-electric vehicles and the future of mobility, and there is no question that the automotive technology of the future will be shaped by electric power and autonomy, but we are still a long way off that point.

“Between now and then, we are going to see a gradual shift, with hybrid systems playing a crucial role. At Cosworth, we are just as focused on improving today’s ICE technology as we are on investing in R&D for future mobility solutions.”

While the commitment of large manufacturers and governments to electric mobility is commendable, the reality of achieving ambitious goals in a short time-frame may be more difficult than expected.

In the short term, as manufacturers get to grips with development of future solutions, the ICE will remain vital, particularly with the more immediate demands to move away from diesel engines.

Cosworth is making significant gains in this area, working closely with car manufacturers to improve fuel efficiency, while tackling air quality and greenhouse gas production.

The company has been working on a low-friction central gasoline direct injection (GDI) and variable-valve-lift petrol engine with high fuel efficiency and emissions control.

This is intended to match — or even improve on — the fuel efficiency of current production diesel engines.

Mr Willoughby added: “There is still a huge amount we can achieve with continued development of the internal combustion engine, which continues to offer a cost-effective way of energy conversion with excellent power density.”

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