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SCIENCE8 Eco Transport: Combustion Engines

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Internal Combustion Engines

The internal combustion engine is the sole type in use in 100 percent of automobiles and trucks today—and that dominance of the transportation sector is likely to be little changed by 2020.

At the same time, as of 2017, commentators were raising more questions about whether the incorporation of electric motors would supersede the use of internal combustion engines, at least in automobiles, in the not-so-distant future. Advancements in battery technology, specifically regarding efficient lithium-ion batteries, combined with global efforts to fight climate change led to some arguments that it would not be long before carmakers would be shifting more to electric technology—or at least more of a hybrid between the two.

As electric cars are simpler to make and maintain and drastically reduce carbon emissions as opposed to cars that use internal combustion engines, the call for electric cars may further increase. Yet others claim that with some companies working on methods for making the internal combustion engine more efficient, it will continue to remain in use for some time.

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