Company: Achates Power
Source: Greentech Media
It’s not every day that you meet a green tech company setting out to champion an idea last popular during the Third Reich.
Achates Power, however, claims that its proposed two-stroke opposed piston diesel engine — an idea put into practice by the Junkers aircraft company — will cost 10 percent to 15 percent less than a conventional engine to manufacture and will increase fuel efficiency by 10 percent to 15 percent, according to CEO David Johnson.
Right now, the company only has a single piston prototype but is in discussions with mainstream manufacturers of diesel engines. Ideally, engines based around Achates’ design could hit the market in 2015 or 2016.
“We’ve mitigated 95 percent of the technology risks” associated with the basic concept, said Johnson, who has been working on diesel engines since graduating from Cornell decades ago.
Applying the technology to actual engines, of course, will give birth to a new level of challenges. Still, it is not like truck manufacturers or trucking companies have a choice, he argues. The U.S. is on the verge of establishing mileage regulations for long-haul trucks that will increase fuel economy by around 20 percent. Today, trucks must meet emissions regulations, but the mileage standards are new.