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Japan's Automakers To Collaborate On Future Fuel Efficient Tech Photo:
Tony O'Kane | May, 27 2014 | 1 Comment

Japan's carmakers have banded together to help each other develop the next-generation of fuel-efficient engines, the ultimate aim being to improve the efficiency of petrol and diesel passenger cars by 30 percent before 2020.

The consortium, called the Research Association of Automotive Internal Combustion Engines (AICE), is an alliance between Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Daihatsu and Fuji Heavy Industries - which owns Subaru.

The Japanese Government has also thrown its hat into the ring, funding half of the project's ¥1 billion budget (roughly AU$10.6 million).

While the alliance near-term aim is to drop fuel consumption by 30 percent by 2020, the ultimate goal is to improve the thermal efficiency of petrol and diesel engines to 50 percent before 2024.

Thermal efficiency refers to the amount of energy produced by an engine, relative to the actual energy contained within the fuel it consumes. The average petrol engine currently has a thermal efficiency of around 39 percent, while diesels fare slightly better at 42 percent.

Keiji Ohtsu, manager of Honda R&D, will head the group, though Mazda's expertise in extracting maximum efficiency from its range of SkyActiv petrol and diesel engines is bound to play a major role in the alliance's research.

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