Now this is interesting. Researchers at MIT are exploring thermophotovoltaic engines, which would ” burn a little fuel to create super-bright light. Efficient photo diodes (which are similar to solar cells) would then harvest the energy and send the electricity off to run the various lighting, electrical and electronic systems in the car.”
Now this concept wouldn’t replace the actual engine, but it would supply enough electricity to run all the car’s subsystems, and would consume much less fuel than is now needed to keep a heavy multi-cylinder engine running, especially at low speeds.
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