Ever since cars were invented, engineers have known that one of the costs of propelling a car with an internal-combustion engine is the wasted energy pouring out the tailpipe as hot air.

In his teenage years fascinated with car racing, one driver began exploring ways to improve the performance of cars by harvesting that wasted energy of exhaust.  But as a senior studying industrial engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, he shifted his goal from horsepower to fuel efficiency.

So our firm’s car accident lawyers are glad that a Greener car also happens to be safer.  It is like you get to have your cake and eat it too.  The concern is whether or not a smaller, stronger (more horsepower engine) will cause more car accidents through a design defect that is not taken into account during a crash.

Many times design defects lead to more pain and suffering than you would expect, affecting the engine’s performance and detering safe drivers from having a smooth ride.  With this new technology, how many wrongful deaths are following in its wake?

The inventor, 23, has devised a pair of small turbines — one spun by the pressure of escaping exhaust and another by steam produced from the exhaust heat — that can generate electricity to help charge a hybrid car’s battery.  People may be asking at this point, “Why is this new?  Turbines have been around forever.”  That is true.  However, systems for scavenging waste heat for electricity have worked at the scale of a giant power plant for decades.  But this scientist has devised something small enough to fit in a compact car.

The technology works best on hybrid cars like the highly anticipated Chevrolet Volt, whose gasoline engine stays on once the battery charge falls below a certain threshold. Hybrid models now on the road, like the Toyota Prius, constantly switch between battery and engine, fluctuations that he claims make capturing waste heat inefficient.

While the recession will most likely keep gas prices reduced for a while, energy specialists see higher prices ahead, and inevitably more demand for squeezing even more miles out of a gallon. He says his system, which caught the interest of Popular Science magazine and has patents pending, could improve fuel efficiency 20 percent beyond a conventional hybrid design and also cut emissions of greenhouse gases by a similar amount.

Our car accident lawyers look forward to this design being the future of cars, but want everyone out on the road to protect themselves and their families by purchasing the best auto insurance policy that you can afford.

If you were injured and believe that you deserve compensation, then call our bilingual law offices right away at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney and find out how we can help you.  We look forward to providing good advice for your case.  There is no fee if no recovery.

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