So Long, Spark Plugs: Low-Temp Plasma Ignition Might Be the Future

Ashley GeorgeAll, Technology

FRANK MARCUS – 5/19/2020

Cutting-edge tech aims to increase efficiency and reduce emissions.

When you boil it down, improving average fuel economy is super simple: Burn less fuel in the cylinder when cruising. Toward that end, engine developers have toiled to make lean mixtures work since way before Chrysler’s Electronic Lean-Burn System of the mid-’70s. But getting such mixtures to ignite via the spark plug (as in engines since the Model T) has been problematic. Now Torrance, California, startup Transient Plasma Systems is proposing a low-temperature plasma ignition system that it claims can replace the spark plug.

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