Nissan is developing a more efficient internal combustion engine

Nissan is developing an engine for road cars that could reach 50% thermal efficiency


Nissan is developing a more efficient internal combustion engine for road cars that could reach 50% thermal efficiency.

Thermal efficiency is a measure of how much of the heat energy generated by combustion is actually converted into useful work.

A car engine might have a thermal efficiency of only 30% but clever design such as the Atkinson Cycle engine can raise this to around 40%.


The Mercedes formula one engine is said to have an energy efficiency of around 50% but that uses some very advanced, and complicated technology.

One of the difficulties in internal combustion engines, is that they have to operate over a rev range and under varying loads.

Nissan’s concept is to have an engine that runs at a constant speed that drives a generator to provide electric power to a battery that can the drive an electric motor through various road situations.

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About David Brown 434 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto