The Shock Wave Engine
The Shock Wave Engine

This brilliant invention at the U. of Michigan may be far better than the old Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) - and good for hybrid cars.

As an engineer myself who worked on various alternatives to the Internal Combustion Engine (the “rotory engine,” etc.), I am impressed with the “shock wave” prototype developed at the U. of Michigan, which could revolutionize the Detroit auto industry. Instead of clunking pistons, it used a “wave disk generator” that causes shock waves to ignite compressed fuel and air. No pistons, rods, crankshaft, valves, spark plugs, cooling system, etc.    
It seems plausible that this simple shock wave engine is expected to run at 60% efficiency – in stark contrast to the typical ICE that runs about 15%. It should also take about 1000 pounds off of the average car’s total weight, improving fuel efficiency even further. And it decreases emissions 90% to reduce greenhouse gases. These benefits could add to the attractiveness of gas-electric hybrid cars, and they might even make ICE cars competitive in themselves. Breakthroughs like this once again remind us that the automobile is being reinvented. See our forecasts on Hybrids, Electrics, and Fuel Cell Cars.