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“Pulse Plug” Demonstrates 2.7% Improvement in Fuel Efficiency

23 January 2006

ENERPULSE, an ignition products company, announced today that its prototype pulse plug (Pulstar), has demonstrated a 2.7% improvement in spark-ignition engine vehicle fuel efficiency over spark plugs in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tests.

Pulstar is the first capacitor-enhanced spark plug. The drop-in replacement for spark plugs uses the capacitor to store and then discharge the ignition’s electrical power in a powerful pulse.

What makes Pulstar different from spark plugs is its built-in capacitor, which stores the ignition’s electrical power and then discharges it in an intense plasma ball. Pulstar is capable of delivering up to 10,000 times the power of an average spark plug, which translates into greater fuel efficiency, increased torque and horsepower and reduced hydrocarbon emissions. In fact, spark plugs can be compared to the low-power output of a flashlight, while pulse plugs generate intense power like the brightness emitted from a camera’s flash bulb.

—Daniel Parker, ENERPULSE CEO

Testing in the EPA’s FTP 75 test resulted in a 2.7% increase in fuel efficiency. Internal tests conducted by Enerpulse demonstrated a nearly 9% improvement in fuel efficiency. This test also showed a 7% improvement in torque and a 10.5% improvement in horsepower output over regular spark plugs.

ENERPULSE plans to conduct extensive additional testing in 50 different vehicle makes and models to measure fuel efficiency, torque and horsepower performance.

Altira, a Denver-based venture capital firm, provided the first round of financing in early 2004 to develop the Pulstar prototypes and fund the necessary EPA and independent testing of the new technology. ENERPULSE is now seeking to attract a second round of investment capital to finance the market launch of the product.

Enerpulse had marketed an earlier version of the technology in a 2-piece sparkplug it called DirectHits.

January 23, 2006 in Fuel Efficiency, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (45) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

I wonder if these capacitance spark plugs work with flex-fuel vehicles? Would fuel enrichment for cold starts, such as delivered by recently awarded Bosch Flex Fuel Engine Management System, still be necessary?

Are these things competitively priced with spark plugs? If so, it seems like we've got a new replacement for the ubiquitous spark plug. Make way for the Pulstar...

OK, so it seems they are not competitively priced as a ubiquitous replacement for spark plugs (at least not currently) but rather as a performance upgrade for those wanting more torque and power (and mileage).

It would cost $195.00 to purchase a set for my car. Not exactly cheap but still worth it for many...

If this thing really worked as advertised, OEMs would be knocking each other down to talk to Enerpulse. Yes they're expensive but a 2.7% FE increase due to a single part is huge and costs can be partially mitigated through economy of scale and I'd bet a GM or Toyota would help out with engineering to get costs down.

That translates into an additional 0.54 MPG on a car that gets 20 MPG. The reduced hydrocarbon emissions are an additional plus. It would be great to see these things go mainstream. Every little bit helps.

I'm all for them. At $25/plug, that's cheap horsepower. If manufacturers were designing engine programs around these plugs, even more efficiency and power could be unlocked.

skeptical, sounds gimmikie.
Need some third party testing to convince me.

I agree with Joe. Sounds gimmikie(sp). If this technology exists, why has it not been tested in racing somewhere, like F-1, nascar, or NHRA. That being said, I hope its ligit, and becomes mainstream.

Are they available now, at $25 a pop?

It's little things like this and HyDrive coupled with the exhaust treatments on future diesels that is leading me to believe that spark ignition engines will become more fuel efficient than diesels soon.

Sorry, I presented $25 apiece as a figure that would be a significant performance value.

It's too bad they only expect the plugs to last 'as long or longer' than conventional spark plugs. At a 5% fuel economy benefit, with a 60k mile lifespan, $2.50/gallon gas, on a 25 mpg vehicle, these plugs would save around $280 in fuel over their lives.

At a 3% increase in fuel economy, they save only $175 over those same 60k miles. So at $25/apiece, they'd pay for themselves over their lifespan in a V-6 engine, while producing more power and torque, which one could consider free thanks to the fuel savings. A bit like an underdrive accessory pulley in terms of performance and economy - IF the plugs do what they say.

Had 'em on my '00 Mustang with an air intake. Very impressive, but then again I had the chance to see a before and after. The shop who installed them had an MSD display on the counter, they unscrewed the Bosch and replaced it with the Pulstar. It looked like a welding torch. The place and guys working there went nuts...Most of them were mechanics for the owner who races a drag-car with nitrous. They were overwhelmed thinking about burning up excess vapour.

It is simple economics from the point of view of the
manufacturer. If you lower the price, you will make
more money. See ' Pricing Methods ", in your local
library.

Consequently, charge $10.00 for each plug, make the
buyers happy, and yourself rich.


I find it interesting that readers of a blog dedicated to efficiency are highly intrigued and supportive of the technology that the Pulstars represent, while posters on automotive performance forums cry "bullshizzle" and say it is all a gimicky scam like the Turbonator. I definitely find this technology compelling, and probably effective in most of their claims.

The difference between a conventional plug and a Pulstar appears to me to be the difference between a taser and a pulse rifle. A taser will knock you on your heinie from the electrical charge (same as gas gets ignited by a conventional spark) but a shot from a pulse rifle that fires a burst of superheated plasma, similar to the claims made by Pulstar, will take your heinie right off your body and probably cauterize the wound in the process. The first is effective, but leaves room for a less than satisfactory result based on limitations of the system. The second helps to neutralize many of those unsatisfactory results by being devastatingly effective.

I only wish they could bring the price down to $10-15. I could use the Pulstars on my V-6 but could probably only afford to put them on my I-4, and that car already gets 35-38 mpg, so the incentive is less compelling.

could increased combustion chamber pressures blow head gaskets??????????????

IS their any chance in the very near future that this PulStar sparkplug can be used for emergency home gas generators.

IS their any chance in the very near future that this PulStar sparkplug can be used for emergency home gas generators.

Sounds bogus. Reading the fine print - here's what they changed to derive their test results:

1. spark plugs (of course)
2. tyre pressure (!)
3. fuel (!!)
*. (in non-"EPA standard" tests, they also re-program vehicle ignition computers too)

Everyone knows that better tyre pressure and high-octane fuel will give you improved performance, as will messing around with your computer (the latter one possibly shortening your engine life) - so why the heck didn't these snake-oil peddlers just run their plugs without changing other stuff? These guys must think that making up fake test results is less honest than rigging the tests...

C'mon - common sense - fuel goes "bang" when you ignite it - it doesn't go "more bang" just because you ignite it some other way.

This looks to be somewhat false or misleading advertising.
The have no outside or independent testing. The only way that these spark plugs could make a marked improvement would be if your current spark plugs were fouled or otherwise compromised.

This looks to be somewhat false or misleading advertising.
The have no outside or independent testing. The only way that these spark plugs could make a marked improvement would be if your current spark plugs were fouled or otherwise compromised.

This looks to be somewhat false or misleading advertising.
The have no outside or independent testing. The only way that these spark plugs could make a marked improvement would be if your current spark plugs were fouled or otherwise compromised.

This looks to be somewhat false or misleading advertising.
The have no outside or independent testing. The only way that these spark plugs could make a marked improvement would be if your current spark plugs were fouled or otherwise compromised.

"Testing in the EPA’s FTP 75 test resulted in a 2.7% increase in fuel efficiency. Internal tests conducted by Enerpulse demonstrated a nearly 9% improvement in fuel efficiency. This test also showed a 7% improvement in torque and a 10.5% improvement in horsepower output over regular spark plugs."


Useless claims, unless we see the actual test data.

I would like to know where I can buy the pulse plug for testing perposes. I teach automotive technology at El Paso Community College and we are always looking for new technology that works. Students are always asking if its worth paying eight and ten dollors for a spark plug. Would like to test yours.

These are all lies, the EPA has run no such tests and even if they did, where are those tests? The EPA allows anybody to access them. The Plugs will work like any other plug, its like lighting a gallon of gasoline with a blow torch as opposed to lighting it with a simple matchstick, both will give you the same explosion.

Bosch Platinum 4 prong is what I use and now they have the new Platinum Iridium plugs that will last even longer. They're very inexpensive and you can also have piece of mind due to Bosch's years of experience in making quality products. Pulstar is new and still tweaking their product to remove any gliches.


I tried the pulse plugs on my VW GTI and there was a noticeable increase in torque. It has been 3 months and so far so good. All the testing data means nothing if I can not feel it in the seat of my pants

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