Bill Gates Patents Electromagnetic Hybrid Engine

Microsoft founder Bill Gates appears as a principal applicant on a patent published last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but the concept in question isn't computer-based; it's an electromagnetic combusion engine. The patent appears in the name of a Delaware-based LLC named "Searete," a purported shell company for joint-patent filings.

While the summary of the mechanism doesn't lend much insight into just how an engine like this would work in an actual vehicle, it goes into a detailed description of how the engine itself would generate power. The engine "... may be configured to convert mechanical energy of the first piston to electrical energy during a power stroke, and to drive the first piston" in the non-power strokes (ie, when the piston is intaking air or expelling exhaust.) In other words, the pistons can be moved by either gas combusion or by electricity.


It works like this: an engine's mechanical force, created by traditional combustion, could be converted into electrical or electromagnetic energy—which, in turn, could be used to help drive the pistons or for some other application. The benefit: an hybrid engine without the need for two discrete drivetrains, as with today's hybrids.

As the patent filing sees it, the application of an all-in-one engine like this could be much more adaptive that today's hybrids. In the patent's words: "... the engine may select between the first and second modes," that is, electric and gas-powered, "in response to actual or predicted operating conditions."

To be sure, this wouldn't look like your tradition engine; the patent stipulates that each cylinder will be non-circular and non-linear, meaning that an oddly-shaped piston will be traveling in an arc path through the engine, driving a helical gear box and working in concert with a battery source and a series of powerful electromagnets. For more details, check out the summary here.


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  • Zangledrop

    Just nullify the inertia of a gas piston by applying the magnet to the top of the piston when it's down and the bottom when it's up, because the momentum of gas engine's piston is being wasted,
    use a magnetic field on top and bottom to increase your gas engines performance 400% Anti momentum technology is as real as a better car.  A drag racer with magnets on the top and bottom of the pistons timed correctly, will wipe out the competition.

  • Vijen

    The alternator has been used in cars for decades to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.

  • John Chittenden

    An electromagnetic engine was registered with the government about 30 years ago.  In 2008 the inventor who registered this engine made a prototype electromagnetic engine and I videoed it in action on it's stand.  It ran with NO gas, NO water and did NOT need to be plugged into an external energy source.  Recently I uploaded the video to youtube, facebook and myspace.  I wrote about the engine at http:/ along with posting a few pictures.

  • Miro Slodki

    Interesting evolution if it can be made to work.
    Honda is apparently doing something in a similar vein with their upcoming hybrid engines in the sense that the two systems will be integrated onto one powerplant (instead of two separate systems like Prius) making it cheaper to produce...driving down prices...opening the market to more consumers....

    Chris, the link you supplied at the end to the patent isn't functioning properly. can you revisit please


  • John Dallas

    Things to watch for if Bill Gates gets into the car business:

    1. The “Gatesmobile” will stop occasionally, for no apparent reason, and need to be restarted.
    2. The “Gatesmobile” will need patches and upgrades once a month, just to keep it running.
    3. The “Gatesmobile” will go extremely slow at times, usually when your running late for work.
    4. The basic “Gatesmobile” will be useless, unless you purchase expensive add-ons.
    5. The “Gatesmobile” will be preceded by the “Applemobile”, a much better vehicle.
    6. Remember, left-click means go, right-click means stop.

    Just be thankful Bill gates doesn’t manufacture airplanes!