WEST FARGO — A West Fargo man says his invention could more than double vehicle gas mileage.
A newly built model shows how Ernie Brookins is turning 50 feet of driving with gas into 400 feet of driving without gas.
He's already tested the prototype, which he built into his 1980s pickup.
According to Brookins, the invention involves the vehicle accelerator building pressure in a tank while the vehicle is driven with the engine turned on. That tank then powers the engine without using any fuel, and the engine turns back on when it needs to recharge.
"It's still going to have to fuel up all the time," he said, "but it's going to be able to drive four days on the same amount of fuel that it takes to drive one day today."
Brookins now has seven U.S. patents tied to his invention and said he's working on an international patent so he can finally get it to market. But he said it's for the people, not for money.
"It won't be too long before you'll be putting me in the ground. The money won't help me a bit," he said. "California's really hurting for air quality."
It's years in the making, and he said it wouldn't be possible without his better half. Brookins and his wife, Gail, spent more than half a century fixing cars, running a transmission business and hosting combine demolition derbies.
"She knows just about as much, and of course she can run the computer and I can't," he said.
Now, they're focused on helping the public.
"You know everybody says you can't change the world," Brookins said. "This will change the world."
Brookins said he hopes to hold a press conference with engineers from around the world in the near future.