More details emerge about the Mazda rotary range extender
Posted on March 21, 2019
Mazda made the rotary engine famous in the RX line of cars. After saying goodbye to the technology a few years ago, Mazda are revitalizing the rotary engine with an innovative new approach. As a generator that could extend range as part of a hybrid drivetrain.
I covered the announcement of the Mazda rotary range extender before but more details have emerged of the technology.
Mazda rotary range extender
The Mazda rotary range extender was originally envisioned to provide energy for a future Mazda EV. The car would use battery power as needed but could call on the gas engine to recharge the battery if it needed to on longer journeys. The fuel efficiency of the design meant it could be used in an EV without compromising the green intent of the vehicle.
After doing more work, Mazda thinks the potential of the Mazda rotary range extender doesn’t have to be restricted to cars. Thanks to its impressive efficiency, the motor could theoretically provide energy to buildings, contractor’s power tools or anything that could benefit from having a portable generator around.
Ichiro Hirose, Mazda’s powertrain development exec said:
‘With this combination you can vary the amount of battery and also the amount of fuel tank supply. What that allows us to do is, depending on the ratio between the two, is that we can have a derivative that can work more like a plugin hybrid.’
Work has yet to be done to make this truly viable though. Mazda admit they have to complete work on the catalytic converter in order to lower emissions as much as possible. They think that once this work is completed, the Mazda rotary range extender could theoretically work in countries with the most stringent emissions regulations.
The potential for the Mazda
rotary range extender could be huge. In areas without electricity, during blackouts, to recover after a storm, to deliver emergency power and so much more could be unlocked. As long as the car survives whatever happened and it has gas in the tank, it could supply power for all kinds of tools or in any kind of situation.
If it does that in an EV or hybrid without compromising the efficiency or emissions of that vehicle, all the better!