The Electro-Lipid Propulsion System is an innovative modification of the current diesel engine. Designed to harness the force resulting from small, controlled explosions within the cylinders of the engine, diesel engines work in a four-stroke cycle that occurs within two rotations of the crankshaft. The initial step of this four-stroke cycle is the intake stroke in which a piston moves towards the bottom of the cylinder and a valve opens, allowing air to fill the empty space. Next, a compression stroke occurs in which the piston moves upwards, increasing the air temperature and pressure. Fuel is then injected into the cylinder in vapour form so that its mixture with air is achievable. The subsequent stroke is the power stroke. Internal heat resulting from the compression stroke immediately ignites the air and fuel mixture, triggering rapid gas expansion. The tiny explosions lead to the downward movement of the piston, rotating the crankshaft, the common "axle" that connects each piston of the engine. Finally, the exhaust stroke occurs as the remaining air from the explosions is forced out the exhaust valve and cycle repeats once again.
In concept, the present form of the Electro-Lipid Propulsion System can be identified amongst the new market line of cars geared towards fuel efficiency through the use of a gasoline-electricity combination as the fuel. The idea of alternative fuels is not new and while designs for engines running on other fuels are abundant, there are numerous barriers to be overcome in order for a successful transition to occur. The first is the performance of the car; there is no doubt that a new type of engine would not even be considered if it cannot surpass if not meet the performance of current gasoline engine. Secondly,the convenience of refuelling is also a factor; however, the ease of converting current refuelling stations to the new fuel may remove this as a factor. Finally, there is the issue of safety and environmental impact in terms of emissions and the stability of the engine.
Hybrid engine technology seems to be the most logical step in alleviating the growing problem of fuel scarcity and pollution. With vehicles such as the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius, the energy released by the car's original consumption of gas is used to recharge the electrical part of the engine. This normally wasted energy is put to good use in the hybrid technology. In addition to the economic consumption of gas, an electric motor aids the internal combustion engine so that it does not need to do as much work.