Automakers have a tough sell reaching fuel economy standards in the US and Europe. Swiss researchers think the solution will have to come from a fusion of the technologies. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have developed a new engine that they say could get the equivalent of 80 miles per gallon. It's a hybrid that gets its power from a diesel engine, natural gas and an electric motor. That combination could achieve fuel economy numbers that are much, much higher than today's popular hybrids like the Toyota Prius.

While hitting the 100,000 EV sales mark in the US improves the CAFE calculations, we're still a long way away from making it to 54.5 miles per gallon for each automaker's fleet of new vehicles sold. That's what's expected in the US by 2025 and just under the European mandate for 2020 (the equivalent of 55 mpg). Given these regulations, we expect consumer interest in an 80-mpg hybrid would be high, especially since the driver wouldn't be dependent on charging stations.

One challenge for a CNG/diesel hybrid could be finding enough stations supplying those fuels. Another, admittedly bigger problem is that the Swiss researchers think their hybrid technology would add about $8,000 to the cost of a conventional gasoline-powered car. For now, that may be competitive – the electric version of the Ford Focus costs around $19,000 more than the gasoline-powered Focus – but it's still a sizable chunk of change.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      bcsaxman
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good post as far as it goes, but how about more information on just how this 'hybrid' hybrid engine is supposed to work? Is the CNG injected during the normal diesel combustion cycle? Does CNG take over from the diesel fuel at different times, based on what each type of fuel does better than the other? Is there a small CNG generator that keeps the battery pack topped off? Or maybe this the much sought after fuel cell that doesn't need pure hydrogen to generate electricity, but can work of a hydrocarbon instead? I don't know, because such a fundamental question such as 'how does it work?' is never asked or answered by the author. Not looking for a dissertation, but for articles such as this I think at least a basic overview is in order.
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bcsaxman
        A basic overview? You are high on crack.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      (pulls up to gas station pump - friendly man in white outfit and hat runs out with window squeegee to start washing the windows) "What'll it be sir?" "Fill it up with everything." "Right away sir."
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      134.9 francs per liter? That doesn't seem right. 1.349 francs per liter? Seems too cheap.
      kaylaanna
      • 1 Year Ago
      until I looked at the check which was of $5595, I didn't believe ...that...my brother had been truley bringing in money in their spare time from there pretty old laptop.. there best friend haz done this 4 only about 20 months and just now paid the loans on their place and got a great new Audi Quattro. reference ᵂᵂᵂ.xurℒ.es/qstxq