Ricardo Engine Optimizes Ethanol

It’s called the EBDI – Extreme Boost Direct Injection – and it may be the “little engine that could” revolutionize the automotive world to produce cars that get drastically improved fuel mileage while optimizing the higher octane properties of ethanol.

The engine was developed by Ricardo, Inc., and it was on display for automotive mechanics and technicians at the 2012 Congress of Automotive Service and Repair last week in New Orleans. Attendees were able to see the engine in model form and in a GMC Sierra testbed. Ricardo representatives, including Chris Talware (left) and Dr. Matti Vint, were on hand to talk with those at the event and participate in live broadcasts of the Bobby Likis Car Clinic Network from the trade show floor.

Vint says they designed the engine to run efficiently on straight gasoline up to 85% ethanol. “We got good savings with both E-0 as well as E-85, so we designed engines to be flex fuel capable,” said Vint, explaining how they used a systems approach that adjusted a number of variables to increase the “sweet spot” area of the engine.

“The net result is we’ve gotten equivalent performance of a 6.7 liter diesel engine that is in the Sierra truck with a 3.2 liter gasoline engine,” said Talware. That enables what they call “extreme downsizing” that allows it to be scalable to perform in a variety of applications. “The same technology could be applied to a tourist size vehicle, with a 1.4 liter engine,” said Vint. It’s also scalable in terms of market, whether it’s agricultural, light duty trucks or passenger vehicles.

Listen to an interview with Talware and Vint here: Ricardo's Chris Talware and Matti Vint

Watch Dr. Vint explain more about the engine and how it optimizes ethanol below.


CARS Event Photo Album

3 thoughts on “Ricardo Engine Optimizes Ethanol

  1. Unbelievably powerful! That’s what Ricardo’s EBDI engine illustrated at the CARS event last week. Dr. Vint did an outstanding job of helping CARS attendees better understand how newer smaller engines will deliver performance rivaling larger engines while providing exceptional MPG and lower emissions. And Dr. John Kasab was in command as well as he demonstrated Ricardo’s accomplishments. Ricardo’s Chris Talwar is to be congratulated for having the vision to help make this event possible. Ricardo will be “America’s Choice’ for future solutions to power train designs in both the OEM and Aftermarket Industries. Their secret is out!

    And “Ethanol Myths” were busted…one-by-one during the NASTF session. Suffice it to say, audience interaction exceeded everyone’s expectations. Hat’s off to RFA’s Kelly Davis who shook up the crowd with her straightforward answers to every ethanol question asked. No doubt, being a chemist got attention. I am proud to have played a part in this event.

  2. This engine has been on ‘display’ for several years now. I hope it’s as good as promised but I don’t see a buyer stepping up to the plate; that’s the ultimate proof of technology.

    Testing in a Sierra indicates GM is the fish they want on the line, but are they biting? And remember how GM milked the market with the Northstar engine for many years before allowing broader use. This could be a 25 year plan to get to significant production.

    And lastly, “America’s Choice”? Maybe China, Brazil or Europe where diagnostics are less of a regulatory design barrier than in the U.S.

  3. You created a valid point, GM, but may have missed “the” point.  With the new 54.5 MPG mandate scheduled on the 12-year horizon, OEMs are scrambling to provide more fuel efficient engines and Ricardo’s EBDI Technology demonstrates one way this can be achieved.  More importantly the EBDI used an ethanol blend fuel that not only matched the twice-larger diesel’s power, but also produced 3.5% better MPG than the diesel.  Ethanol is certainly part of our nations reduction on foreign oil as it offers options to consumers.  

    Studies show that the ICE will be the primary source of automotive propulsion for the next 30+ years, which opens many doors for engineering solutions companies… such as Ricardo.  I don’t see the EBDI engine as one of Ricardo’s must-sell products so much as its tremendous “power density” features produced on the Dyno.  The EBDI engine/GM truck was not a prototype, but a testbed that could lead the way towards the 50% MPG increase mandated.

    And given such recent successes as the MacLaren MP4-12C 3.8V8 @ 592HP (Ricardo partnered to build this engine) I think there’s no worry about who will buy Ricardo’s technology.  I think the real question is whether or not those of us who write about it recognize its positive points.