July 24, 2021


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Nissan claims it’s made a more thermally efficient gas engine, but there’s a catch

One of the cool things about gasoline is that it’s an incredibly energy-dense fuel. We’re talking around 100 times more energy-dense than a lithium-ion battery. The problem is that gasoline engines aren’t very efficient, so most of that stored chemical energy is lost as heat, which, along with the emissions created when you burn gasoline, means that gasoline engines leave a lot of room for improvement.

Now, engines have gotten significantly more efficient over the past few decades, including in the thermal department. Most modern gasoline engines have a thermal efficiency of around 40%. That means that 40% of the energy created when its fuel is burned gets turned into motion. According to a report published Friday by Reuters, Nissan thinks it’s found a way to increase that number to 50%.

If increasing an engine’s thermal efficiency is so tough, how did Nissan manage to do it? Well, to start, the engine that is purported to have done it is a little different than your typical passenger car engine. Instead of driving the car’s wheels through a transmission, Nissan’s E-Power system uses its gasoline engine to charge a battery, which powers the wheels via electric motors.

Read MORE: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/nissan-e-power-gasoline-engine-50-percent-thermally-efficient/