AN 'ECO-ENGINE' FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Humanity needs to change its paradigm of how the average car is powered; we need to break the car's addiction to oil. But fully electric vehicles will not be affordable or convenient for the majority of drivers for the foreseeable future.

The graph below shows the total world vehicle production and the total electric vehicle production (=1.94m, 2% in 2019) ... xEV = BEV (battery electric vehicles) + PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles).

World Road Vehicle Production    

The internal combustion engine is here to stay for the 21st Century, but it needs a new role; working in partnership with an electric motor. The average car should be able to drive electric in our towns and cities, but use the engine for higher speeds and longer distances. The global average daily driving distance is only 25 miles (40km) mostly in congested, slow moving urban traffic. A battery sufficient to deliver this range is 1/10th of the size, weight and cost of a long-range EV battery. This approach could be cost neutral compared to conventional vehicles, dramatically reducing urban air pollution, rapidly accelerating the acceptance of electric vehicles and "breaking the car's addiction to oil, without compromise for the customer".

The Libralato R6 (rotary 6 phase) eco-engine is a completely new kind of rotary engine with a new thermodynamic cycle. The engine was first concept tested in 2011, followed by more rigorous proof of concept testing and analysis in 2014, which indicated that its revolutionary parallel 6-phase cycle is effective and is capable of exceptionally high efficiency and low emissions. The R6 eco-engine is predicted to be the most efficient compact engine in the world; with higher efficiency than a diesel engine (>50%) using gasoline but half the size and weight.

It is an enabling technology, a game-changer for a new generation of 'Town & Country' hybrid electric vehicles (EV=town, ICE=country). The size, weight and cost savings from the R6 eco-engine mean that all the hybrid components (including batteries) can be fitted into standard engine bays for less than the price of a diesel engine. The efficiency of the R6 eco-engine combined with full electric drive capability and regenerative braking can reduce average fuel consumption by >70%, reducing fuel costs and CO2 by >60%, without range anxiety, without new charging infrastructure.



The automotive industry is very conservative. Paradoxically, because the R6 eco-engine is so radically new and different, it is not trusted and therefore Libralato Ltd. has struggled financially to develop the engine. As recognised by the ‘Renewed European Agenda for Research and Innovation’ (https://tinyurl.com/qwxh5xu) “Compared to incremental innovation, breakthrough innovations tend to come from new entrants, often start-ups without existing assets or cash flows. They tend to entail higher risks, in terms of technology, market and regulation. Too few European start-ups survive beyond the critical initial phase of 2-3 years, due to lack of venture capital, a deep-rooted aversion to risk and an inability to exploit the scale of the Union”. The illustration below shows Libralato's market penetration strategy starting with low volume applications.

Market Penetration    

As stated by the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in Dec 2019, "Our strength in developing the latest powertrains and autonomous technologies demonstrate that we have the foundations to build a new British success story. We want to be leaders in the technological revolution that is reshaping our industry, producing ever cleaner, cutting-edge vehicles that are driven throughout the world and which are the embodiment of the quality, ingenuity and innovation that sits at the heart of UK automotive manufacturing."



Libralato Ltd. is supported by:

Seventh Framework Programme     European Commission     Innovate