Hybrid car engine 'halves fuel use'

Radically efficient car engine technology developed in the UK has halved urban-cycle petrol consumption and reduced carbon emissions by 30% without compromising performance.

It has been perfected by Artemis Intelligent Power, a company formed by researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

A standard BMW 530 engine drives two digital displacement motors, capturing energy normally lost during braking and then using it when the car next accelerates.

The car switches seamlessly between petrol engine and stored energy, with the computer-controlled motor operating at its most efficient speed while using a minimum of fuel.

The company recently won the Rushlight Powered Transport Award, and has licensed the technology to two commercial partners. It was supported by the Department for Transport and the Energy Saving Trust.

Artemis director Dr Win Rampen said: "This is a serious step forward in cost-effective fuel economy improvement. It will be much cheaper than electric hybrids, and help to make hybrid vehicles an economic rather than a lifestyle choice."

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