Delphi, Achates Power, Tap $9M Grant to Develop Innovative Fuel-efficient Engine

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Achates Power, a developer of fuel-efficient engines with operations in Farmington Hills, in collaboration with Auburn Hills-based Delphi Automotive and Argonne National Laboratory, were awarded $9 million by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a gasoline engine that could yield fuel efficiency gains of more than 50 percent compared to turbocharged direct injection gasoline engines.

"Our opposed-piston, gasoline compression ignition engine will dramatically reduce petroleum consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, while meeting current and future mandates for low criteria emissions in cost effective, high-volume products that consumers will love driving," says David Johnson, president and CEO of Achates Power.

Johnson says Achates Power, Argonne, and Delphi expect to spend a total of $13 million on the program. He says the three-year effort will result in the creation of a 3-cylinder, 3-liter opposed-piston, gasoline compression ignition engine that’s applicable to large passenger vehicles, pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans. Johnson says the technology is adaptable to 2- and 4-cylinder engines that can be used in SUVs and mid-size cars.

Gasoline compression ignition uses high cylinder temperatures and pressures to spontaneously combust gasoline fuel without requiring spark plugs.

Johnson says Achates Power has developed an opposed-piston engine that has a two-stroke design. Delphi has also developed a gasoline direct injection compression ignition, and Argonne National Laboratory, a science and engineering research center in Illinois, has been developing gasoline compression in a series of conventional development engines.

"Argonne and Delphi have already shown on conventional four-stroke engines that…gasoline compression ignition provides diesel–like efficiencies, in a gasoline engine, without typical diesel engine and after treatment cost penalties," Johnson says. 

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