About us - History

ELSBETT is a name which stands for a long tradition. Follow our journey through time from the invention of the Diesel engine to present day and discover the important milestones of our company history.

1893 Rudolf Diesel invents the Diesel engine. infoPortrait Rudolf Diesel Rudolf Diesel
1900 Rudolf Diesel is awarded the Grand Prix for his engine at the World Exhibition in Paris .  
1913 On September 29th, Rudolf Diesel mysteriously disappears at the age of 55 whilst crossing the English Channel from Antwerp to Harwich. infoOn 8th November, Ludwig Elsbett is born.
1937 Ludwig Elsbett joins aircraft manufacturer Junkers and quickly becomes head of his department, developing combustion engines. infoLogo Junkers-Flugzeugwerke Junkers-Flugzeugwerke
after 1945 After the war Ludwig Elsbett independently sets up with the production of a small 2-stroke Diesel engine.  
1951 IAA Berlin (International Motor Show).  
1956 His proven single-cylinder engine is presented in the journal MTZ.  
1959 MAN hires Ludwig Elsbett for engine development in Nuremberg. infoLogo MAN
1970 ELSBETT develops as a centre for innovation for Diesel engine technology. Over 400 patents have been registered since then, with licenses granted worldwide. infoKlaus Elsbett joins the team
infoAerial view ELSBETT-Institute Hilpoltstein
1973 ELSBETT gains worldwide recognition for the first ever serial-produced direct-injection Diesel engine for cars; something almost all scientists and motor companies had thought impossible. infoOil Crisis:
The worldwide search for alternative fuels begins.
1975 ELSBETT presents the first Diesel engine with turbocharging and direct injection for cars (in-house abbreviation at Elsbett: »tdi«!) to Ferdinand Piech at VolksWagen.  
1977 The first steps are taken towards an engine fuelled by vegetable oil, the so called »ELSBETT-Motor«.  
1979 First production of the multiple fuel, direct injection engines for cars. infoMotor
1980 First conversion of standard Diesel cars with prechamber engines to vegetable oil (e.g. VW-Golf).  
1984 In recognition of his groundbreaking discoveries, Ludwig Elsbett is awarded the Diesel medal in Gold on Dec. 1st, 1984 infoDieselmedaille Dieselmedaille

The first conversion of heavy trucks to vegetable oil.
1988 The then Soviet Union licenses the ELSBETT engine concept (3 cylinder car engine with direct injection) with multiple fuel capability and integrated injection system (unit-injector principle).

ELSBETT begins to be involved in major projects in Brazil - alternative to the Proalcool programme.
infoZeichnung 3-Zylinder ELSBETT-Motor
1989 infoPhilip Morris Forschungspreis '89
1990 Citibank Sao Paulo partners with ELSBETT with about 10 Million DM to push forward the implementation of the techology in Brazil .

1992 ELSBETT runs into financial difficulties from its involvement in Brazil.

The Climate Change Convention is signed by 154 nations in Rio de Janeiro.
1993 16.-23. September: the first Eco Tour of Europe; the winner with the lowest consumption - the ELSBETT Mercedes.

The Bavarian State Governement awards Ludwig Elsbett a medal of honour.
1994 "ELSBETT-Konstruktions GmbH" is sold, which later declares insolvency without involvement of any Elsbett family member or current or past employee.

Licenses are sold for ELSBETT technologies to build an industrial engine in Malaysia.
infoFlagge Malaysia
1996 Commerical operations begin for converting pre-chamber car engines to run on vegatable oil with the ELSBETT conversion technology.  
1997 ELSBETT wins the European Solar Prize. info
1999 ELSBETT begins conversion of standard direct injection car engines to vegetable oil.

Railway locomotives and railcars converted to vegetable oil for the Prignitzer rail company.

Klaus Elsbett is awarded the "Silver Piston" management prize by Club of Europe.
2000 03.03.: ELSBETT AG founded.

Elsbett begins converting standard unit-injector type car engines to vegetable oil.
infoThe oversubscribed private share issue for ELSBETT AG is completed successfully.
2001 Modern truck converters are fitted to SCANIA tractor units.  
2002 Standard Common-Rail car engines and unit-injector truck engines converted to vegetable oil.  
2003 Elsbett introduce DIY converters for cars and lorries.

Start of building up a national network of service partners, whose workshops perform the vegtable oil conversions for end customers .
2005 Prices for fossil fuels rise to record levels.

Elsbett signs up its 100th service partner.

The Elsbett website www.elsbett.com enjoys incredible growth in popularity and is visited by over 1000 visitors every day, making it the principal source of information in the market.