Fuel and lubricants testing and development

Independent testing services for the analysis and development of fuels, lubricants, and oils for ICE, HEV and EV platforms.

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From engine oils and e-fluids to transmission fluids, we offer world-class analytical facilities for fuels, lubricants, catalysts and aftertreatment systems. Applicable to ICE, HEV and EV platforms, we help clients develop fuels and lubricants for a variety of applications through the optimisation of performance, emissions, and fuel consumption.


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Our in-house team of engineering experts specialise in fuels and lubricants. Supported by our world-class Vehicle Emissions Research Centre (VERC) and Electrified Propulsion Research Centre (EPRC) facilities, we are able to provide precise and specific analysis of fuels and lubricants to deliver detailed, accurate insights and advice for our clients.

Our facilities can be tailored to test and analyse:

  • Gasoline
  • Ethanol (E10/E85/E100)
  • Diesel
  • Biodiesel (B7/B20/B100)
  • Gas to liquid (GTL) fuels
  • Paraffinic diesels
  • Engine oils
  • Transmission and differential oils
  • E-machine lubricants

Our team of engineering experts support our clients in research and development programmes to find solutions to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions of automotive fuels and lubricants, without compromising their performance.

Ricardo has a number of testing solutions to investigate and analyse the effects of fuels and lubricants on vehicle efficiency, performance and emissions. We offer a range of services for the testing of fuel and lubricant products to determine factors such as fuel efficiency, emissions control, and additive performance.

We can also assist in the designing of experiments to validate products by testing candidate fuels or lubricants on representative vehicles across a variety of test cycles potentially with periods of mileage accumulation to understand long term effects. Ricardo may source, modify and design test platforms and perform baseline testing on a reference fluid before testing candidate fluids.

We also offer vehicle level testing for fuels and lubricants. Our state-of-the-art facilities and equipment provide high accuracy measurement of fuel consumption and emissions in a highly repeatable environment. Accuracy is further improved by strictly controlling the test process to ensure noise factors are minimised.

Ricardo supports our clients with the testing and development of electric vehicle fluid and lubricants. Electric vehicles require fluids with specific properties to allow lubrication of high speed gear and bearing systems, cooling of high voltage power electronic systems, and potentially working within wet clutch systems.

Our electric vehicle fluid analysis programmes assess fluid performance to give designers the key insights they require to enable an increase in vehicle efficiency and an increase electric vehicle range.

Enabled by our world-class facilities and equipment, Ricardo can test electric vehicle range to global standards on legislative cycles and highly customisable real world drive cycles. Our advanced instrumentation provides accurate assessment of system performance to determine fluid performance and the effects of degradation under a range of different scenarios.

Testing is supported by our engineering and technician team who are on hand to provide expert analysis and advice to help our clients to get the most out of their results and from their product.

Fuel In A Conical Flask
Fuel and lubricants testing and development


This service is offered within the following sectors.

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Meet the experts

Tim Bassett

Tim Bassett

Head of Test

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Trevor Downes

Trevor Downes

Chief Engineer, Engines and Emissions Control

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