Driving and alcohol don’t usually mix, but giving a petrol engine an occasional slug of the hard stuff could make it as fuel-efficient as a petrol-electric hybrid.
So says the Ford Motor Company, which on 19 May revealed test results on a novel ethanol-assisted engine. Called a direct-injection ethanol engine, the unit runs primarily on petrol. When it needs to deliver maximum power – to climb a hill or overtake, for example – the engine management computer adds a little ethanol to the fuel injected into the combustion chambers.
Let me repeat myself, huh? Ethanol doesn’t deliver the same power as gasoline –it’s lower– and adding it to gasoline shouldn’t do that.