Japanese carmaker says from 2019 it will sell cars fitted with engines that largely eliminate need for spark plugs, improving fuel consumption by 30%

One of the world’s largest automotive firms has hailed a technological breakthrough for the petrol engine, in an engineering twist for an industry racing to embrace the electric car.

Japanese car manufacturer Mazda claims to have designed a vehicle that will largely eliminate the need for spark plugs in petrol engines, increasing fuel efficiency by as much as 30%. The development also increases the existential threat facing diesel engines because its fuel economy could match diesel’s performance without high emissions of nitrogen oxides or sooty particulates.

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