Thursday 23rd February 1892
Rudolf Diesel received a German patent for the diesel engine. The diesel engine differs from the petrol engine in that it uses compressed air in the cylinder rather than a spark to ignite the fuel. Production diesel car history started in 1933 with Citroën’s Rosalie, which featured a diesel engine option (the 1,766 cc 11UD engine), followed two years later by he Mercedes-Benz 260D and the Hanomag Rekord. Immediately after World War II, and throughout the 1950s and 1960s, diesel-powered cars began to gain limited popularity, particularly for commercial applications, such as ambulances, taxis, and station wagons used for delivery work. In 1977, General Motors (GM) became the first American car company to introduce diesel-powered cars. The diesel-powered Olds 88 and 98 models were 40 percent more fuel-efficient than their petrol counterparts. Diesel cars never caught on in the US, partly because the diesel engine’s greater efficiency is counter-balanced by its higher emissions of soot, odour, and air pollutants.