Avadi Engines of Washington State is launching a new type of engine that they believe will have a significant impact on the $4 billion internal combustion engine industry.
The Avadi MA-250 uses a unique, patented engine design that produces more than 15 horsepower and nearly 22 foot-pounds of torque. Named after the inventor, master machinist and engine designer Michel Arseneau, the 250cc Avadi engine also achieves brake thermal efficiency of over 40%, one of the highest figures ever seen for a production engine.
Smaller, lighter, more efficient… and lower environmental impact
The MA-250 was created using a minimalist approach and groundbreaking design principles. By rethinking the fundamental function of how an engine can operate, Arseneau and his team have greatly reduced the number of parts used in traditional engine design. The result: a light, efficient, compact, and powerful engine with a much more gentle environmental footprint.
“My goal is to create an engine that will be beneficial to the environment. I came up with the idea for the design about 20 years ago,” says Arseneau. “The target was to reduce emissions. Also, doing something straightforward, simpler to use and less expensive.”
No easy feat
While the design concept is brilliant, translating it from a drawing to a working prototype was no easy feat, according to CEO Landon Wilkinson:
“This engine is revolutionary in both form and function. It’s about half the weight and nearly double the power of comparable production engines. It functions as a result of mechanical functions that have never been combined in this fashion. Michel has an extensive background in machining, which has allowed him to complete most of the engine R&D with little assistance,” he adds.
It is estimated that over 50,000 hours have been invested in designing and machining this engine. VP of Program Development, Dale Renner, shares an in-depth look at the creative process:
“Everything inside the crankcase rotates, although it’s nothing like a rotary engine many people are familiar with. It still uses a regular piston. The cylinder rotates, the piston rotates, and the piston is connected to two connecting rods that work together in a scissor-like fashion. They’re linked to a pair of pinion gears that take the place of a traditional crankshaft, one of a traditional engine’s heaviest components. The piston and its rotating lower assembly is directly connected to the output shaft, much like a differential.”
On a mission
While electric motors get a lot of press today, the fact remains that the broad adoption of things like electric cars is a long way off. Most recently, Toyota announced an investment of more than $400 million in U.S.-based production facilities for its venerable 4-cylinder gasoline engine. This from the company that led the industry in EV production with its popular Prius. Toyota and the industry at large have a clear view of EV challenges such as the pending environmental impact of production, a realistic charging infrastructure, and the long-term viability of selling, operating, and disposing of electric vehicle components.
The Avadi team sees the opportunity to co-exist with the development of user-friendly electric-powered vehicles… and the smaller, lighter, fuel-efficient MA-series Avadi engine is a strong candidate for both practical on-board charging and viable range extension.
“There have been few significant changes to the internal combustion engine since it first became widely adopted nearly 100 years ago. We feel our engine design will fill a key transition need, as pressure builds for more efficient, economical, and low-emission energy needs,” Wilkinson adds.
Avadi also plans to increase the size of its engines to meet the needs of different markets and to introduce a larger diesel model in the future. The company also plans to test the engine with hydrogen and as a compressed air engine, which powers the engine with short bursts of air rather than spark-ignition combustion.
All forward motion counts
Founded in 2014, Avadi Engines has successfully built and tested multiple operational prototypes over the past several years. While R&D continues, the team has been busy forming a number of partnerships with companies interested in putting their engine to the test in various end-use platforms.
Since its debut at the 2022 CES Technology Trade Show in Las Vegas, Avadi Engines has had over 1,000,000 interactions on social media platforms as well as engine demos with various organizations. They’ve also received patents in the United States, Canada, Singapore, and Taiwan in the last year.
While development is ongoing and additional funding will be required to make the engine commercially viable, the Avadi Engines team believes that now is the right time to share their story with the world as they seek both individual investors and strategic partnerships with companies that have specific needs that they could meet:
“The MA-250 can replace virtually any device or piece of machinery that uses an internal combustion engine—from lawn mowers and scooters to automotive and aviation to cargo ships and locomotives,” Renner says. “We are in talks with a confidential government defense contractor who is interested in our engine for their new UAV/drone.”