Ricardo celebrates 80 years of involvement with diesel technology

Ricardo continues to push the boundaries of clean technologies that will make the next generation of road vehicles less polluting than ever – while also exploring ways of applying these technologies to reduce emissions in other diesel sectors.

It was as long ago as 1932 that the company then known as Automobiles Citroën signed a letter of intent with Ricardo that would lead to the creation of the world’s first commercially available diesel passenger car. Records from the time show that on visiting England engineers from the French automaker were impressed by the relatively clean and smokeless exhausts of the large fleet of AEC London buses that were already fitted with Ricardo designed engines.

Eighty years, two world diesel land speed records, and countless production products later, Ricardo continues to push the boundaries of clean diesel technology. In the automotive sector, the company’s near-Zero Emissions Diesel (nZED) demonstrator has set the current benchmark for low emissions, and many of its constituent technologies have already been incorporated in design programmes for customers. Within the off-highway sector, the ultra-clean Ricardo Twin Vortex combustion system has enabled manufacturers to achieve the latest international emissions regulations with minimal aftertreatement.

In emerging markets the average age of vehicle fleets can be higher than in Europe, Japan and North America, meaning that the benefits of applying new technologies to reduce emissions levels can be even more profound. Clean diesel research continues to be a major focus for Ricardo, working together with leading vehicle and engine brands in all parts of the world.  In addition to this, the company is increasingly applying clean diesel technology in other diesel based market sectors such as marine propulsion, rail and distributed power systems.

“It is humbling to think that however sophisticated the clean technologies we develop and the production solutions we design for our customers, our latest work in clean diesel technology builds upon an eighty year heritage of creating clean diesel products for the road,” commented Ricardo CEO Dave Shemmans.  “The automotive industry has led the way in emissions control and we are now seeking to apply the benefits of our efforts in the marine and rail sectors providing technology road maps at an industry level as well as product development support to individual clients. As governments, regulators and industry aim for ever cleaner emissions targets for both environmental and health reasons, we stand ready to work with our customers to create new technologies and products for the automotive industry and beyond, and in both developed and developing markets, ensuring that every last drop of fuel is used as efficiently – and as cleanly – as possible.”

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