Ricardo Inc. made the ethanol community proud yesterday when it released its new Ethanol Direct Boost Injection engine at the Washington Auto Show. The engine is the first of its kind, using technology designed for diesel engines but taking advantage of the ethanol fuel properties.
Ricardo put their engine in a one ton GMC pick-up as a test model for the auto show. The 3.2 V6 will be able to substitute any gas or diesel motor without losing performance or power.
“We think this could replace conventional engines, and could even replace diesels,” says Kent Niederhofer, president of Ricardo.
The optimum blend for the EDBI is between 30-50% ethanol, but can run on any blend of ethanol or regular gas. That fuel blend is becoming easier to find with the increase in ethanol blender pumps across the country.
The smaller 3.2 V6 EDBI engine will have an estimated cost of $4,500 more than that of the conventional gas, but will gain in efficiency. The one ton pick-up with a its normal engine averaged 12.7 miles per gallon with regular gas and 12.1 miles per gallon with ethanol. But when replaced with the EDBI engine, the vehicle got 15 miles per gallon on ethanol.
“People are likely to be amazed with the performance and fuel economy that can be delivered from a comparatively small displacement engine running on a renewable fuel such as ethanol,” said Rod Beazley, director of the Ricardo Inc.
Diesel Trucks usually cost around $8,000 more than conventional gas and the EDBI will weigh around 400-500 pounds less while maintaining the same torque and towing capabilities.
Advancements like the EDBI are solutions toward America lessening its dependence from foreign oil and strengthening its economy.