The theme at SAE World congress 2012 was Get Connected

Universal acceptance of split-cycle engines at SAE World Congress subject more to business models

Pick any split-cycle engine developer and the story will be the same as the major OEMs of automotive. Business models affect thinking which affect decisions and choices of technology. Here’s the latest from SAE World Congress 2012.

[Updated to clarify Scuderi comments. Also see ref comments below article]

Speaking of getting connected, Scuderi Group was the first company that ever gave me an interview regarding the split-cycle engine technology; that was about 2010. Much has changed; and much has yet to change. Today, I perceived Nick Scuderi as thinking in terms of 3 years minimum [Note: from the time a design is started] as opposed to the 8-10 years for a split cycle on the road that they thought a few years ago. [I added my own two cents and said 3-5 years, because it takes a long time to get EPA certification.] Point is, improvement since 2010, yes; reaching the goal of getting an engine into a car and on the road, no.

Problem is, nobody knows who will build the split-cycle engine in high volume first, because Scuderi is not an engine manufacturer. Its business model is clearly based on being an intellectual property company, which explains why they use an independent research team for physical development, while the Scuderi family builds and protects its only real product, its patents. Not a bad model, but with all respect it sort of feeds its own limitations.

Now on this last day of the SAE World Congress 2012, it is clear that other split-cycle companies are vying for the affection of auto OEMs, like GM, Ford, Chrysler; and none of them, including Scuderi, are apologetic about getting attention from European and Asian companies; because, lets face it, the American automakers are dragging their heels again. After all, 2025 and the 56.2 MPG mandate are not that far off. Point is, we cannot afford complacency; it's a matter of national defense and economic survival.

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Comments

To answer a recent email from another investor, here is what I wrote as a comment under a separate article before the SAE show. "Just to be sure I do not misrepresent here, that 3-5 years is MY total outlook based on what I understood the situation was leaning. The hard 3 year figure, though, would likely be a minimum for ANY OEM to get a new engine in place for high-volume production; but that was a number I did hear and one that Scuderi would agree. Keep in mind, though, the 3 year clock does not count until the ink is dry on a bonafide contract. So your guess is as good as mine on that part. That's why I added the additional 2 years making it a 3-5 outlook; in other words, in an absolute sense. If the engine was used for a generator engine, that could fly first, in my opinion. For the record, I have no reason to doubt that 3 year min timeline. Fact is, any OEM would need time to design, package, test, validate, redesign, tweak, meet EPA for certification, etc. Certifying a new engine is not a walk in the park." I hope this clears things up. I also revised the wording in this article a bit so as not to cause any further misreading. I felt Nick Scuderi was being open and honest with me. As an engineer, I concurred with the timeline as rational.
Great info. Lonnie Doyle graces the pages of some of the Scuderi Boards now and then. I wish him well. Seems like a super guy with, as you say, a great aptitude for some really creative and high tech " thinkering.".
I would like to know about these boards that you mentioned. Please email me with details that I may track. Thanks.

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