Weichai Power recently unveiled the world’s first diesel engine with an intrinsic thermal efficiency of 53.09%, an achievement officially recognized by TüV SÜD, an international authoritative testing organization, and the China Automotive Technology & Research Center, a professional testing body for Chinese internal combustion engines.

The Weichai Power engine debuted April 20 at the 2024 World Congress on Internal Combustion Engines in Tianjin, China.  The testing organizations issued product testing reports and certificates to Weichai Power, confirming the company’s new world record in the key economic index of diesel engine thermal efficiency.

“Based on current estimates of Chinese diesel engine ownership, upgrading from a thermal efficiency level of 45-46% to 53% can improve the diesel engine economy by approximately 14%,” according to a statement from Weichai Power. “This advancement translates to annual fuel savings of around 31 million tons and a reduction in carbon emissions of approximately 97 million tons. For a heavy-duty tractor that travels 250,000 kilometers annually, this improvement can save roughly 12,000 liters of diesel fuel each year.”

This is the fourth consecutive upgrade in thermal efficiency by Weichai, which since 2015 “has assembled a high-thermal efficiency engine research team comprising hundreds of young Ph.D. holders and thousands of engineers,” according to the company. “This team has been collaborating with leading minds domestically and internationally, along with industry-university-research partners, to conduct cutting-edge technical research and continually push the boundaries of innovation.”

In September 2020, Weichai marked a significant milestone by introducing a diesel engine with a record-breaking body thermal efficiency of 50.23%. The company continued its progress by further increasing the engine’s thermal efficiency to 51.09% in January 2022. Most recently in November 2022, the company produced  52.28% thermal efficiency.

Weichai Power’s research team dedicated more than 500 days of focused effort to further refine four critical systems: combustion, air intake, fuel delivery, and friction reduction. The team successfully advanced high-expansion combustion, mixed-flow pressurization, high-efficiency fuel injection, and low-resistance friction- reducing technologies.

Weichai Power was recognized for its efficiency achievements at the 2024 World Congress on Internal Combustion Engines in Tianjin, China. Weichai Power photo.

At the April 20 event Dirk von Wahl, CEO of TüV SÜD North Asia, extended his congratulations to Weichai via video message. He acknowledged that Weichai’s recent achievements are exceptional on the global stage, far exceeding current standards.

This reflects not only Weichai’s robust scientific research capabilities but also its strong technical prowess in the internal combustion engine industry. Wahl expressed his belief that this technological milestone will significantly support China’s carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals and green development initiatives, while also contributing to the sustainable growth, energy conservation, and emissions reduction of industries worldwide. 

Tan Xuguang, vice president of the Chinese Society for Internal Combustion Engines, director of the State Key Lab of Engine and Powertrain System, and chairman of Weichai Power, attributed Weichai Power’s four consecutive breakthroughs in diesel engine thermal efficiency to the nearly 4,000 days and nights of intellectual dedication by Weichai engineers.

He also acknowledged the crucial role of open collaboration with top global universities and research institutions, as well as the synergy achieved through innovation with the global industrial and supply chains. Tan emphasized that this achievement not only belongs to Weichai but also contributes to the advancement of the global industry as a whole.