EVIC Engine


The EVIC is a computer controlled internal combustion engine, utilizing a cam less solenoid actuated valve system. In addition to intake and exhaust valve control, the processor also handles ignition timing. With dynamic valve timing, it is possible to make an engine more efficient. Where a classic combustion engine would wastefully burn fuel, the EVIC can skip power cycles which are not needed. By increasing the valve duration, the CPU enables easy starting. The latest is the EVIC Mk3 which adds an exhaust valve sensor, and 3:1 solenoid leverage. There is a photo gallery with several EVIC engines. The Mk2 Twin is demonstrated in the video embedded below.


45 thoughts on “EVIC Engine

  1. FIAT have an implementation of this in the works. Only they use extra cams on the exhaust camshaft to pressurise an oil system, which via electronic valves acts on the inlet valves. So a half camless motor. I’d be interested to see if this fully camless method is reliably usable on a large scale motor.

  2. This is similar to what all the F1 teams are doing. At very high revs (before they were limited they were pushing 22,000 RPM) mechanical valves aren’t fast enough so everyone uses electronically controlled pnuematic valves. As with this project, it also gives them a lot of control over fuel efficiency.

  3. @ Cyanide, this guy is pulling 14 amps at 42 volts to run that solenoid, forget the computer, the solenoids don’t seem very efficient.

    Pneumatic valves? Now that seems cool.

  4. Wow, this is a really cool project. @nubie how long are the solenoids pulling that much current? Probably for a very tiny amount of time, so the average power is probably far less than 14*42=588W. It could be quite efficient compared to a mechanically driven system.

  5. I’m curious as to what the MTF on those solenoids is. obviously this is a prototype, so who cares really, but in a practical application, it would have to be thought about.

  6. an alternative to the solenoid/poppet valve might be a stepper motor/rotary valve. ideally, this would require less power to drive, and eliminate the possibility of eating a valve.

  7. @cmholm

    Rotary valves have been existence for a while but never widely implemented due to sealing issues. Coates http://www.coatesengine.com/ specifically is one such example and eliminates valve float. A good read and has been available for years but the cost must be excessive as its not widely implemented or known about even.

  8. @subbota –

    You’ve got it mostly wrong. Although F1 (and many MotoGP) engines use pneumatic valves, they still use cams to actuate the valves. The pneumatic aspect of the system is simply used as a spring replacement, as air springs. This is completely different.

  9. @ 0n37w0

    Have you ever worked on a typical engine? this definitely has more opportunity to fail. In a typical engine there is a cam running lifters, to push rods, to rocker arms and then the valves. There may be more parts, but they are very rarely an issue when compared to nearly any other failure. The weakest link would be the timing chain, but even those are rarely a problem.

    I would trust a typical engine over one run by a couple of solenoids any day…

    I’m not saying this isn’t awesome, I am not trying to take away from what has been done…

  10. Heh, my friend and I started to think about developing a system similar to this a few years ago in high school. same concept, but we were going to try starting with an old staight-4 engine. Nice to see that someone has made quite a nice working prototype, even if only on a model engine

  11. Nothing on this engine is inherently new (camless valve systems have been about for years), or useful over what is currently in production. Dynamic valve timing, displacement on demand (removing cyls from use when not required), variable compression ratios for easy start etc are all already on production cars across the world.

    However it’s a fun little project and seems to be well executed, so it gets a thumbs up from me!

  12. aye, f1 uses pneumatic springs, not pneumatic valves. this is to stop valve float when mechanical springs go resonant at high rpm, pneumatic pressure has no resonance.

    the mechanical valve is much faster than a solenoid, it is the difference between waiting for the carrot in a rabbit trap to take effect, and having Pele kick the rabbit into the trap.

    the bmw sytem initially used purely electric solenoids, but due to the massive steel plungers required to generate enough force from the available flux they moved too slow to get up to freeway rpm. but that was over 10 years ago now

    small solenoids porting hydraulic power sounds interesting though

  13. I wonder what is the failure mode of the solenoids… If they stay open, you get eaten valves (and like others mentioned you probably need springs to close them), if the valves all snap closed then bad things happen…

    At least a camshaft leaves the valves in predictable positions if it stops rotating…

  14. @James:thanks for the picture. I’m wondering if the pressure in the pneumatic springs can be adjusted, so it rises with rpm. Also, I have run calculations for the forces which would be required in a solenoid to open the valves and keep them opened at max long enough in the exhaust stroke (for a 500 cc cylinder, a compression ratio of 11.5 and a 0.5 cm lift, 2 exhaust valves with a 1 cm radius) would be about 14 Kg force as far as I can remember. I just couldn’t find a solenoid big enough.

  15. Can’t you skip a power cycle on a fuel injected engine by not putting in fuel? What happens if you compress and don’t inject fuel and close the valves for compress/combust phases?

    Anyway, regarding the generator comment, the 12.5cc engine used probably generates less than 0.5 HP even at peak (10k rpm) whereas even with a 45% duty cycle (open slightly less than the whole intake and exhaust phases), the two draw ~265W (0.35HP).

  16. @tw – probably not much of nothing, I drove on 3 cylinders on an old honda civic for a coupla weeks when the cam started to fail. I could get up to highway speeds easily enought, 60/70 mph (not much faster)

    You’d probably loose energy – obviously you’re not gaining anything by compressing air, but the friction of the piston rings on the cylinder would cause losses as well.

  17. Solenoids have springs and thus have a resonant frequency to which they will float also. Whats more you have the extra problems of inductive resonance and inductive impedance. Perhaps this is negligible and can be overcome by using a springless solenoid with a low enough reactance.

  18. I wonder if anyone has ever considered the use of piezoelectric materials as actuators for engine valves. Depending on the material and the actuator architecture, I would expect very fast actuation times, a decent amount of actuation power, relative indifference to high temperatures, and so forth.

  19. sorry guys but all of you that said in F1 it was only pneumatic spring are wrong, there was a concept going with Renault (BMW and Fiat too) that did’t go on the track becos of the new rule that follow the year of development, here are some link for you that should do some research befor saying someone is wrong…Renault was suppose to race in F1 back in the days with a V12 twin charger and full camless (electro) valve control. Why they didn’t after… simple they did’t need to…



  20. @ roly

    ah, very good point. I should have been more specific. The force required by the solenoids if implemented on a larger engine (say a modern 5.7 liter v8) would be much larger than that to regulate/allow fuel flow. The springs used to control valves exert an amazing force, especially when in high performance/horse power/rpm engines. These solenoids would be enduring tons of abuse in this application.

    In addition, if a fuel delivery solenoid/injector fails there is just no fuel delivered, but if one of these fails when controlling a valve there could be catastrophic issues due to the compression present within the cylinder. Granted that there are solenoids that are designed to fail in an open or closed state, with the heat and speed they would be operating at it would still worry me.

    I’m not saying that I don’t think it will ever be implemented, because I truly believe that this is an extremely viable technology. I just think that there needs to be testing done on a larger scale.

    I do have a bias though :) my daily driver is a ’71 el-camino that my father and I rebuilt from the ground up. No computers in that bad boy!

    really though, amazing project that I would love to give a shot trying out. How about trying to implement it on something like a lawn mower or small go-cart as a next step…

  21. I am the designer of the EVIC engines. They have been my hobby for nearly 10 years. I am a retired electrical engineer and I would like to make a few comments:
    My solenoid failure rate has been very low, 1 in 10 years. I have had some wear problems on the solenoid shafts.
    The valves on my engines are closed by valve springs. Electrical damping is used to softly land the valves on the valve seats.
    The solenoid power is about 4% to 6% of the engine’s output, increasing with engine speed. The valve train on a typical car requires about 5% of the engine’s output, a racing engine can use double this amount.
    It is, as some have speculated, easier to do this on a small engine than on an automotive size engine.
    The F1 rules do not allow solenoid actuated valves.
    BMW, Ford, Fiat and others have built prototype engines with solenoid actuated valves. Fiat has recently announced production of their Multiair system with solenoid actuated intake valves. Intake valves are far easier than exhaust valves.
    I sell a plan book for the engine shown in the video. I also sell a Student Guide CD to those who want to learn about the technology.

    I have used my engines to power radio controlled model boats and model airplanes. My latest 17cc single powers an 8′ wingspan Turbo beaver and puts out about 0.8 hp at 8,000 rpm.

    I am pleased that you folks are enjoying what I have done.

    Dave Bowes, EVIC designer.

  22. This sounds great, but once you read his site you see the one con that makes EVIC engines impractical. Even on this small engine, the solenoids draw about 15 amps from a 42 volt system. Imagine the power it would take to run say a 200cc engine.

  23. While the current can hit 15 Amps on the exhaust valve open it only does so for a fraction of a millisecond. Average current consumption is much less and a moderate engine speeds represents only about 5% of the engine’s power output, about the same as the power required to drive the camshaft on a typical automotive engine. The newest EVIC, the 18cc Mk4 has linear Hall effect valve position sensors that help reduce the current consuption compared to the older EVIC Mk3 engine and the EVIC Mk1 & Mk2 picture here.

    1. Had a look at your website & was really impressed! Looks like you’ve a real busy retirement. I’m knocked out by the many iterations & improvements that you have gone through to get this far. Many Qudo’s are in order!

      Next, lets put an EVIC system valve gear set onto a 50 cc scooter. This would soon show any limitations in the system. They are about 2″ bore so not too far away from what you are playing with now. Shall we lash one up? I’d love to try it. More “Grass Roots” than model engines. Keep up the great work!

    1. Yes the valve controls can be optimized for low speeds and high torque. The limits are, as in any IC engine, the ability of the crankshaft to keep turning against the compression forces during the compression stroke. To do this you generally need a larger flywheel and the EVIC technology doesn’t change this. However it will allow you to optimize the valve timing to reduce fuel comsumption and maximize torque withing the limits of the inertia provided by the flywheel.
      My latest EVIC engine is a 25cc Fuji Robin clone. Dave Bowes, EVIC Designer

      1. Thanks dave.. It vl be really helpful.. I am here actually looking forward for an application specific IC engine Eid low rpm and higher yorque for a final year project.. I think by using gear reduction I can probably lower down the rpm.. Also can uh tell,me were can I get an EVIC?? Can I modify d codes ??

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.