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First Diesel Car

The first diesel car invented was also the first biofuel car. Rudolf Diesel showed off the first Diesel engine in Augsburg, Germany in 1893 and it ran on peanut oil. In 1892 Diesel applied for a patent in Germany and in 1898, he was granted a U. S. patent as well.

First Diesel Car Citroen Rosalie

At the 1900 Paris, France World Fair Rudolf Diesel showed off his engine and was given the Grand Prix award for excellence. But, the first diesel engines did not go into cars, trucks or even locomotives.

The first diesel engines were used in the shipping industry. In 1898, Rudolf Diesel licensed his new engine to the Branobel Russian oil company for use as an engine in a ship. In 1903 the first oil tanker propelled by a diesel engine is launched and in 1904, the French build the first diesel-powered submarine.

It was until 1912 that the first train with a diesel engine was introduced by the Danish. In 1922 the first land vehicle without a track, a tractor by Mercedes-Benz was built with a diesel engine. Finally, in 1923, the first truck with a diesel engine was introduced by Daimler, Benz and MAN.

The Cummins "Diesel Special" racecar was driven at both Daytona and the Indianapolis 500 in 1931 and did not have to make a single pit stop. In 1933 an older Bentley fitted with a diesel engine was the first of its kind to compete in the Monte Carlo Rally. In 1934, the Diesel Cummins Indy Car made another appearance (both are pictured above).

In 1933, the Citroën Rosalie (pictured above) was introduced as the first production passenger car to be powered by a diesel engine. Because of legal restrictions on the diesel engine, the car did not go into production until 1935.

Shortly afterward, in 1936 the Mercedes-Benz 260D and the Hanomag Rekord diesel cars were introduced into the marketplace. Because of the size and weight of the diesel engine, however, they did not flourish in the automotive industry like gasoline-powered cars did. They remained in trucks and larger vehicles.

In the 1950s and 1960s diesel cars were slowly re-introduced to the public on a limited basis. Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Austin, Isuzu, Fiat, and several others began introducing diesel driven taxis, ambulances, station wagons and a few other autos.

In 1967 the Peugeot 204BD was introduced as the first high speed diesel car. In 1976, the Volkswagen Golf diesel was marketed to the public. Since this time, turbo charged, fuel injected diesel engines and low emissions diesel cars have hit the market.

If fact, today in Europe some of the lowest polluting vehicles are not hybrids, but rather low emissions, clean burning diesel cars.