History of Fuel Injection

An example of jacketed fuel injection pipes in...

An example of jacketed fuel injection pipes installed on a diesel engine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a fuel injection engine the fuel is forced through a small nozzle at high pressure, which atomizes the fuel. It has taken the place of carburetors as the primary fuel delivery system for automotive engines. While there are various systems for a range of fuel types, the most common ones are for gasoline or diesel.

Around the turn of the twentieth century Herbert Akroyd Stuart created the first machine that resembles the fuel injection. His version used a jerk pump that would measure the fuel into the injector. This early version was then modified by Robert Bosch and Clessie Cummins who adapted it for diesel engines. With their enhancements, the fuel injector was able to become widespread in use for diesel engines by the mid 1920s. Not too long afterwards, however, in 1925 Jonas Hesselman of Sweden began his own developments that allowed the engine to start on gasoline and later switch to kerosene or diesel. This newer version used a spark plug for ignition. This enabled the invention to be used in certain types of aircraft during the Second World War.

During this period the automotive industry was undergoing a great amount of development and change. Fuel injection engines during this period cost too much and were seen as unreliable to gain any hold in the market for gasoline automobiles. In the mid twentieth century, however, that began to change.

In 1955 Mercedes-Benz used a Bosch system to create the 300SL model, the first commercial use of a fuel injection engine. Chevrolet followed suit in 1957 in the Corvette.

The engine continued to improve, and ten years later, in 1967 Bosch demonstrated the first electronic fuel injection with the D-Jetronic. The engine was used in the Volkswagen 1600TL and spread to the major luxury cars, including Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Volvo from there. The timing worked perfectly for automobile companies who were beginning to find themselves subject to increasing government regulations around the same period.

The fuel combustion system changed the automotive industry for the better. Drivers are able to start their cars in various weather conditions with confidence. Although the technology has been around for about one hundred years, it was only in the past few decades that enough advancements were made the enabled for use in the automobile.

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