Laura K. Cowan

Your Next Car Could Fire Up With Lasers, Not Spark Plugs

by , 04/21/11

GM LS9 6.2L V-8 engine, laser spark plugs, green transportation, alternative transportation, clean tech, green automotive design

This GM V-8 engine could soon be powered by lasers. Japanese researchers have created a laser system small enough to fit into an engine cylinder head. This means your next car could be fired up by lasers doing the job of spark plugs, which ignite compressed fuel to run your engine. The researchers say that this new system allows a car’s engine to burn cleaner, more efficiently, and to produce fewer nitrous oxide emissions, which contribute to smog.

GM LS7 7.0L V-8 engine, laser spark plugs, green transportation, alternative transportation, clean tech, green automotive design

© GM Corp

Previously, laser systems powerful enough to do this job weren’t small enough to go where spark plugs live, but these new lasers are not only small enough, they can be produced at an affordable cost. Takunori Taira of Japan’s National Institutes of Natural Sciences, one of the researchers on the project, says the new laser system is made of ceramics and can be mass produced inexpensively. The researchers’ findings will be presented in May at the Conference on Laser and Electro Optics in Baltimore.

Via Gizmodo

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2 Comments

  1. MrCotain April 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Maybe if we invested the amount of time and money they are spending on a laser spark plug maybe we would already have an affordable electric car @ajdorsey. Co-tain.com

  2. ajdorsey April 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

    This is so cool, engines are making so much progress these days.

    The problem is the cars get so much more expensive to purchase because of the boutique customizations.

    Which keeps cheap gas guzzlers more cost effective for the consumer.

    Give me clean engines at the same or better price as the gas guzzler and you’ll have me, and society on board.

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