As fuel prices continuously rise and show no signs of dropping we need are always in constant need for more fuel efficient vehicles. On top of that many of us still do not want to exchange our gas cars for electric and electric cars are not practical in many cases (see why electric cars will never succeed). Gas cars are now plateauing in efficiency and there are very few ways they can become more efficient by just making small modifications to the engine. The internal combustion engines of the future need to have some significant changes and new systems to make them more fuel efficient like harnessing excess heat, harnessing braking energy and running them off new fuels:
1. Gas cars are release an outlandish amount of heat from the combustion, none of this heat is ever used, it is only dispersed, but after all heat is a form of energy so we ought to find a way to use it because this would in turn make vehicles more efficient. The best way of utilizing this heat would either be through thermocouples ( two different metals linked that create electricity when there is a heat difference) or by surrounding the engines in water so that it evaporates and in turn use the steam to create motion by either a steam engine or turbine. This would help utilize the heat lost by engines which would make a huge difference in efficiency.
2. The most work a car has to do is always during acceleration. This is when the car is using the most gas. Now to reduce fuel consumption we could try reducing the times we stop thus allowing us to not accelerate as much, but since that is too hard the next best thing we can do is utilize braking energy to accelerate. Now we know hybrid cars and electric cars have regenerative braking but it would be much better if we could still harness our lost energy from breaking without making so many expensive modifications such as adding a heavy battery and electric motor. An
easier way to do this would be to shut off the intake valves of the engine and instead use the compression of the pistons in the engine to compress air, while slowing it down. This compressed air could then be pushed back into the engine during acceleration to accelerate using compressed air rather then gas. Some concept cars have this incorporated into them, the only setback is the danger of having compressed gas during a car crash
3. The last thing we can do to decrease the amount of gas we use is to use an alternative fuel. Currently gas cars can be modified to run on natural gas which is much cheaper, but an alternative to both would be by running them on water. Hydrogen fuel cells use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen which are both very combustible and can be put into the engine. The electricity comes from the alternator and splits the water into the two combustible gasses and pushes them into the engine along with the gasoline. any kits enable you to modify your vehicle to run on part water but it would be an advantage if these were incorporated into all vehicles.