The rotary engine made famous by sports cars such as the Mazda RX-7 is the inspiration for a potential new portable electric generator.
Mazda is developing a Mazda 2 electric car that uses a compact, 330cc 22kW single-rotor engine as a range extender to recharge the battery pack and double the distance it can cover.
The Japanese company, however, says believes it could make the price of its electric cars more appealing to buyers if the rotary system could also have a secondary purpose as an electric generator.
“To make the [electric car] affordable we need to include value,” Mazda powertrain development manager Takashi Suzuki told CarAdvice in Japan. “If the system can be used as an electric generator, the value can be included.
“We couldn’t find a compact system producing 15kW and that’s why we believe there is a market for such an electric generator.”