Japanese automobile manufacturer Mazda claims new gasoline engine technology slated for debut in late-decade models will reduce carbon dioxide emissions below the amount generated to power electric cars.
According to a recent article in British auto magazine Autocar, Mazda’s SkyActiv engines put out 30 percent less carbon emissions per mile than the average amount of CO2 generated by the electric power grids providing electric cars with juice.
Emissions ratings are calculated by determining the distance in miles-per-gallon of gasoline and the cleanliness of electric power grids. Those “wells-to-wheels” emission calculations are 35 m.p.g. at the lowest in the U.S.’s heaviest CO2 output coal-burning grids, and as high as 100 m.p.g. on cleaner grids. Europe has a similar low of 35 m.p.g.
Using an increased compression ratio of 18:1 (over Mazda’s current 14:1) and a homogeneous charge-compression ignition (which uses a compression mixture of air and gas to ignite as opposed to a spark), the SkyActiv engine improves thermal efficiency by up to 30 percent.
The new tech raises the efficiency of SkyActiv engines to around 50 m.p.g. or more, without the added expense of still-pricey hybrid technology, and bringing the auto manufacturer’s emission efficiency above the average wells-to-wheels grid emissions for electric cars.
According to Mazda, those engines won’t make it to the U.S. until close to 2020. Electric grids are however expected to improve their carbon dioxide output efficiency on a global scale in the next decade, which could shave off some of Mazda’s lead by the time the new SkyActivs have a chance to hit the global market.
Green Car Reports also points out that the rate of electric car owners with solar panels installed in their homes is much higher in the U.S., meaning a growing number of electric car owners power their vehicles free of any emissions whatsoever.