Spark Plugs May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past

According to CNET, Toyota, General Motors and virtually every other major automobile manufacturer are tinkering with a technology called Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI), which could boost fuel economy in cars by about 20 percent and generate fewer polluting hydrocarbons. Research projects are also under way at national labs and universities. In HCCI, the combustion process occurs by moderating the pressure and temperature inside the cylinder. Igniting the fuel with a spark is not required. A similar, but slightly different and slightly less effective, combustion process takes place in diesel engines. "It is more efficient and less far-fetched than it sounds," Pinson said of HCCI. "In this decade you are going to see incremental introduction of it."