Israeli Startup Aquarius Engines Has New Car Engine — Promises Double Current Fuel Efficiency

Aquarius says its super-efficient engine could go 1, 600 km on a single tank of fuel, and has caught the eye of Peugot; "This was the first time in our entire lives in which we had an opportunity to work in a company which can really change the universe."
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L-R: Aquarius Founders Gal Fridman, Ariel Gorfung and Shaul Yakobi

 

Aquarius Engines, an Israeli startup, has developed a new engine for use in motor vehicles which can double the fuel efficiency of cars. So score one more victory for Israel’s Startup Nation in the field of green tech.

Founded in 2014 by Shaul Yakobi, its CTO and inventor, Ariel Gorfung, its CEO, and Gal Fridman the CMO, Aquarius Engines boasts that it has designed, developed and built a “revolutionary” engine to operate motor vehicles.

We all know the warnings about climate change and how the internal combustion engine deserves much of the blame for it. When gasoline is burned it releases carbon monoxide into the atmosphere which contributes to global warming.

New technologies such as hybrid gas and electric vehicles offer much better overall gas mileage and a reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels. But they have not been widely adopted by the consumer. And the new Aquarius engine promises to offer an even greater reduction in the use of gasoline in the average car.

The world is also concerned with the fact that there is a finite amount of oil remaining under its surface. And countries such as Israel, which need to import pretty much all of their oil and gasoline, certainly would like to see an end to the internal combustion engine. A major reduction in oil imports will help their trade deficits and improve their economies.

As for the geo-political advantages, Americans are tired of the power and influence that their oil industries give the Arab/Muslim world.

The race has been on for some time now to develop electric car engines and there have already been fully electric cars. So what is so special about the engine developed by Aquarius, given that it still uses gasoline?

Well so far electric cars do not have nearly the power nor the speed offered by gasoline operated vehicles. And the infrastructure is yet to exist to allow for the charging of electric cars everywhere. And they also have a very limited range.

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The company explains that in contrast to traditional engines, their unique patented one-cylinder design has only one moving part. Instead of multiple pistons thrusting up and down, the new engine from Aquarius has a single piston that goes side-to-side. This makes production much easier and less expensive. It also reduces the power demands of the engine.

And of course fewer parts means fewer break downs and much less money wasted by car owners on taking their cars in to the shop for repairs. So the only losers here are oil companies and auto mechanics.

Aquarius also states that its engine has an, “exceptionally high power-to-weight/size ratio.”

And according to a report by AFP, Aquarius Engines is already in talks with the French auto manufacturer Peugeot to sell it their engines which are being priced at only $100 per unit.

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But in spite of the low cost and great fuel savings, critics argue that electric vehicles are the way of the future and that a new combustion engine which still uses gasoline is not a step forward no matter how much more fuel efficient it may be.

To answer this Gal Fridman, the company’s co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, told Jewish Business News, “The way to measure an engine is by its efficiency, how much energy it uses. Our engine has 43.2 efficiency — unlike any other on Earth — which means it is three times more efficient than other engines. Ours uses up to 45% of the potential energy in gasoline while others only use 15%.” This is the efficiency that the average car today gets out of the gasoline once it reaches the wheels. More fuel is lost in other parts of the car’s systems.

As for competition from electric vehicles, Gal feels that they have had more than 15 years to take over the market and have failed to do so because there is no consumer demand for them.

“The industry for fully electric vehicles has already been around for 15 years. But what is the total quantity of the market for electric today? Less than 3% of all cars sold are electric hybrids, ” said Gal.

But it is best for the environment to cease using gasoline entirely and so environmentalists want electric vehicles to succeed. Won’t electric cars eventually become advanced enough to be both desirable and affordable to the consumer and therefore make the new Aquarius engine obsolete?

“I certainly hope so, ” said Gal. “But even the most optimistic predictions are that it will take up to 50 years for that to happen, if at all.”

Aquarius got started with $8 million in seed money from tier one investors. The company’s founders boast that they had so much interest in their product that they had their choice of investors and that it took them only three days to get the funding.

They are now in a second round of funding, looking for another $40 million which will be used to build the infrastructure for manufacturing their engines. They hope that production will largely be done in Israel, but the engine should be made as close to the markets as possible, so they will eventually need new factories in America and Asia.

Already half the way to their goal, Aquarius expects to close this round of funding early next year.

They are not currently looking to go public. “We did not build this company for an exit, ” explained Gal. The founders wanted to do something special here, not just make money.

Ariel Gorfung, Aquarius co-founder and CEO, previously worked in venture capital with Yuval Rabin, son of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitshak Rabin. Gal says that both Ariel and himself, as well as their third partner Shaul Yakobi, left their previous very successful careers to start Aquarius because they really wanted to do something special

“This was the first time in our entire lives in which we had an opportunity to work in a company which can really change the universe.”

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