At a recent U.S. Department of Energy conference, Ricardo, an automotive technology company, claims the technology now exists to build ethanol-powered spark-ignited engines that can deliver performance, economy and durability that are competitive with diesel for a broad cross section of applications.

The engine has the performance of diesel, at the cost of ethanol, and runs on ethanol, gasoline or a blend of both, Ricardo says.

Ricardo showcased a 3.2-liter V-6 ethanol-boosted direct-injection (EBDI) prototype at the conference. The engine is capable of operating up to 100% ethanol or gasoline. “Adopters of the technology will be able to meet emissions regulations at a lower cost,” says John Pinson, vice president of business development at the company.