BMW to Slash Fuel Use With Radioactive Tailpipes

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German car giant BMW has announced plans to attach radioactive heat-collectors to the tailpipes of future models, in a move predicted to slash fuel use and reduce carbon emissions by around 5 per cent.

The massive fuel saving is bigger than the three per cent achieved by the two current key Efficient Dynamics technologies – stop-start and brake energy regeneration.

The revolutionary technology, originally designed to power space satellites, captures waste heat transferred down the tailpipe and converts it to electricity via a radioactive ‘thermolelectric generator.’

According to Klaus Draeger, BMW’s Head of Development, “We will be ready for production in about five years.”

Tests show that up to a third of the energy wasted by an internal combustion engine flows down the tailpipe. Harnessing even part of this energy is predicted to result in a dramatic saving in overall vehicle efficiency.

Image Credit – °*¤©§][ Rα3чαт BмW ][§©¤*°→ [ABP] via flickr .com on a Creative Commons license

Andrew Williams

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.