Mazda’s Rotary Range Extender Could Also Serve As A Backup Generator

Mazda has a few ideas about what an engine could be — and doesn’t see itself restricting the technology to just cars.

>Autoblog recently spoke with Ichiro Hirose, Mazda’s powertrain development managing executive, who said the company is exploring other uses for its engine technology besides powering automobiles. Specifically, the idea that the rotary engine could be used as a mobile emergency generator.

In Mazda’s prototype, the rotary engine is used to generate electricity for its EV powertrain, but the idea is that the motor would be able to power other things around it such as tools, or provide electricity to buildings. The great advantage of a car is that it’s, well, a car, so it essentially becomes a portable generator.

Mazda has been leading the way with engine technology with the addition of its Skyactiv-X powertrain, which works like a diesel engine to compress regular gasoline enough that it ignites without the use of spark plugs. The fuel won’t be limited to just gasoline either — liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is also on the table, although hydrogen appears to be a bridge too far for the brand right now.

The EV-plus-rotary-range-extender Mazda recently teased is set to go on sale in 2020, so we aren’t too far off from seeing the return of the flying Dorito.

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