Economy, Auto

Mazda Pitches Skyactiv-3 Engine Tech to Rival EVs

Mazda Pitches Skyactiv-3 Engine Tech to Rival EVsMazda Pitches Skyactiv-3 Engine Tech to Rival EVs

Mazda Motor Corp. is developing a gasoline engine it says will be as clean as an electric vehicle — at least when the supply chain of energy creation is calculated into it.

Mazda’s powertrain chief revealed the plan during an automotive technical conference in Tokyo, dubbing the future engine technology Skyactiv-3, Automotive News reported.

The nomenclature signals that Mazda is working on another generation of Skyactiv high-compression engines.

The first generation, called Skyactiv-G, debuted in 2011. The second, Skyactiv-X, will reach the market in the fiscal year ending in March 2019.

After that, the automaker will prioritize boosting the thermal efficiency of its engines, said Mitsuo Hitomi, Mazda’s managing executive officer in charge of powertrain. Doing so reduces the amount of combustion energy lost to heat while increasing the amount harnessed to power the wheels.

If Mazda can increase the thermal efficiency of its third-generation Skyactiv engine by about 27%, to 56%, it can achieve emissions on a par with an EV, Hitomi said.

The numbers compare Mazda’s future engine against the well-to-wheel emission of an EV. Mazda’s measurement includes the carbon dioxide emitted from producing the electricity that powers the EV. For internal combustion engine vehicles, it calculates emissions from the extraction of oil and refining of gasoline.

Mazda’s calculations assert that once all activity is measured, some EVs are dirtier than some fuel-efficient, gasoline-powered cars.

Mazda believes it can cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25%. That would give Mazda’s gasoline engines real world well-to-wheel fuel economy comparable to EVs deriving their electricity through the burning of liquefied natural gas, Hitomi said.

Hitomi did not offer a timeline for delivering the Skyactiv-3 technology, but he said it would give the internal combustion engine a much longer lease of life.

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