Ricardo collaborates with Achates Power on light duty vehicle engine

Ricardo has worked with San Diego-based engine design company Achates Power to develop the next generation of opposed-piston gasoline compression ignition engines for light duty vehicles.


The project is funded by the US government’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and aims to create a fuel efficient, lightweight engine. With a minimum power output of 270HP, Ricardo said it will demonstrate a pathway to meet Tier 3 Bin 125 criteria emissions. First fire and controls commissioning were recently completed, along with early-stage test phases.

In a statement, Dave Crompton, president & CEO of Achates Power said: “As we move to more sustainable transportation, we need to look for a whole range of solutions that reduce CO2 and criteria emissions as we enable reliable and cost-effective transportation.

"The opposed-piston engine operating with gasoline compression ignition can be part of the solution because it offers an immediate and important improvement in efficiency without compromising power, torque or cost and enables the use of existing infrastructure to be quickly deployed and adopted.”


A team at Ricardo is said to have undertaken design and systems integration and achieved the target of a 60 per cent weight reduction, compared to the first generation of the engine.

The project team expects that when fully developed the engine can achieve up to 20 per cent fuel economy improvement over the baseline and can deliver an unadjusted corporate average fuel economy and combined 35MPG, for a full-sized pickup truck, alongside diesel-like torque from a gasoline engine.  

Matt Beasley, president of established mobility at Ricardo, said: “The project is a great example of how Ricardo is working in collaboration with Achates Power to develop the next generation of gasoline engines for light commercial application, offering efficiency, and meeting emissions targets.”