Fuel is a matter that we’re all looking into. In addition to causing a great deal of strife in the auto industry as consumers look for more fuel efficient cars, there is a push from both sides of party lines to provide a more efficient and fuel effective vehicle. But it appears we may be looking at a new invention that could significantly reduce fuel costs and push our understanding of what a gallon of gas is to the limit. But will dropping the globe’s consumption of fuel by so much be enough to stave off an impending crisis?
Developers working from Michigan State University have taken a design based on a principle that does away with the traditional internal combustion engine for a newly designed circular system. Pistons are traded in for fans. And in the end the overall fuel efficiency for a hybrid vehicle would be a dramatic increase in fuel efficiency and cut emissions by 90%.
However, the new design does require fewer moving parts. With the auto industry already laying off several workers, the new engines could be made more cheaply, but ultimately require less labor to build. In the end, there has been some talk of stifling this invention in the interest of labor – though none has come from any official channels yet. Is this the face of a new conspiracy to keep fuel efficient vehicles off the streets?
As we continue to look into the future of transportation, a few things do appear to be very popular. First, design has always been an important factor. But more than the physical design of devices, there is a renewed interest in the sustainability of vehicles. In 2006 America consumed 386 million gallons of gasoline on average per day (according to the US Energy Information Administration.) And of this, fuel consumption was used almost 70% of the time for transportation. If an engine like this were developed, and similar engines had a comparable effect on other means of transportation, the total amount of fuel consumed could drop as low as 77.2 million. That may not seem like a big difference, but it’s effect on the economy and energy would be enormous. And of course worldwide this would have an even greater impact.
One of the concerns people have had about the lack of fuel in projections about the future is that it requires people to give up one of their favorite pastimes and a great deal of freedom. If innovations that work keep coming from the future, then we may be looking at a stay of execution for the fuel industry. Of course the decrease in consumption would no doubt have an effect on the economy as well, being supplemented – some are saying – by higher fuel prices to encourage the change.