How new tech will make our petrol cars 'even greener than electric'
Mazda to have 'super-green' models on the road by 2019
So there is 'greener' than electric after all.
According to Mazda there is anyway. And they say we'll get a chance to see for ourselves as soon as 2019.
They claim their new-tech petrol engines will produce lower emissions than electric drive-trains when the entire span of their life - "from well-to-wheel" - is taken into account.
In effect, they are saying that - from inception to powering a car - their engines will produce fewer emissions.
They expect first examples on the market by 2019.
The technology combines both spark and compression (normally for diesels) ignition in petrol engines. And that is said to increase efficiency by 30pc.
As things stand, the breakthrough looks like putting it up to legislators as Mazda helps shift the focus from immediate levels of emissions to the total involved in producing and running a car from scratch.
The use of the efficiency-boosting compression ignition technology was announced by the company yesterday. Called Skyactiv-X, the engines will replace the current Skyactiv-G range.
They claim efficiency is improved by up to 30pc and can match, if not better, their current diesels.
They emphasised that the new technology will enable Skyactiv-X engines to produce lower emissions than electric drivetrains whenever their life from well-to-wheel is accounted for.
The commercial use of compression ignition technology makes this a first as it has not been used on mass-production cars.
The system mixes petrol and air in the engine's cylinder, as happens in a conventional spark-ignition engine. However, it then ignites it by using compression as well as a spark.
It is estimated that reduces the amount of petrol required by half.