There is no longer any doubt that engines are on their way out. People now believe that the doom of the internal combustion engine will be electric cars with batteries and motors. What if we discovered something else that was better?
For example, automakers have been looking for ways to use hydrogen as a fuel for years. Only a few are still working on it, but in reality there are so many obstacles in their way that it's unlikely humanity will go down that path.
Israeli company Aquarius Engines claims to have found a way around at least one of those obstacles: fuel cells. It is a technology that has been in development since 2014, the first details of which were made public this week following the completion of third-party tests at the hands of specialist company AVL-Schrick.
According to the information available, the 10-kilogram (22-pound) powertrain is derived from the company's other hardware, the ICE single-piston linear engine. Unlike that engine, however, this one can run exclusively on hydrogen.
The exact workings of the technology have not been announced (we'll come back to that when more is known), but Aquarius claims that the thing can run on hydrogen without having to use "expensive hydrogen fuel cells".
The new engine technology is based on conventional ICE propulsion, only much simpler and incredibly efficient. It contains far less components than a conventional engine, just 20, and only 1 moving piston that moves from Side to Side.
At a cost of just $100 per engine (estimated back in 2016), tests have found that the Aquarius ICE solution allows the vehicle to travel up to 1,600 km (994 miles) on a single tank of fuel.
At one point, it was rumored that French automaker Peugeot was pursuing a single-piston ICE engine. The Israeli technology has been thought of as a range extender, but nothing tangible has come of it yet. The technology is currently being tested in several countries around the world.
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