AVL History

AVL History


1946 Prof. Dr. Hans List started up as an independent engineer. 
1948 A team of diesel engine construction experts headed by Prof. Dr. Hans List got together to set up IBL ("Ingenieurbüro List" or List Engineering). 
1949 Even the first diesel engines were a resounding success. They went into mass-production at the Jenbach production plant in the Tyrol and Andritz mechanical engineering plant in Graz. 


IBL became AVL - "Anstalt für Verbrennungskraftmaschinen", Prof. Dr. Hans List (or Institute for Internal Combustion Engines).


The central research premises were established in Kleiststraße with funds from the Marshall Plan. This is still the group's management headquarters and the heart of the company's R&D activities.


The first direct-injection 4-stroke diesel engines with swirl ducts were developed for trucks. These gradually superseded the 2-stroke and 4-stroke pre-chamber engines that were hitherto the norm.
1960 AVL initially became involved in engine instrumentation for its own purposes, manufacturing such instruments as quartz pressure transducers, monitoring and control units, instruments for engine indicating etc. So it was that the group's second division - AVL Engine Instrumentation - was born.
1963 Concentrated further development of diesel engine engineering resulted in the 2250 HP, 18-cylinder, 2-stroke diesel engine.


The first engine acoustics testbed was installed at Kleiststraße.


The international success of AVL's measuring instruments meant that very soon quartz pressure transducers, gravimetric fuel meters, smoke testers and complete engine indication systems were being mass produced. The successes and experience gained in engine instrumentation were applied to medical tasks resulting in the first blood gas analyzer. 


The first fully automatic, digital testbed went into operation at AVL. The central element was still a punch card-operated computer. A true piece of pioneering. The revolutionary system made even comprehensive data acquisition possible as well as additional measurement tasks, monitoring functions and evaluations.


Another milestone at AVL was the development of the encapsulation technology for silencing engines. AVL sold its first fully automatic testbeds thus marking its international breakthrough. Subsidiaries were founded all around the world.


The advent of computer-controlled indicating on the testbed represented a quantum leap in evaluation accuracy and speed.


In 1974, AVL decided to develop DI diesel engines for passenger cars. The first prototype of a light diesel engine was presented in 1976. This direct injection engine had unit injectors, a monoblock and an oil-wetted, decoupled lower encapsulation.


With its PUMA testbed software, AVL soon gained an international reputation for its comprehensive modular testbed solutions.
1979 Helmut List took up the chair of the management of the entire company. The M1 series for passenger car DI diesel engines were designed. The top-of-the-range model of this monoblock series was a 3.2-litre, 6-cylinder in-line engine with 182 HP (134 kW).


With the development of its ultra-light clamp-on transducers for recording expansions in the injection line, AVL succeeded in making a breakthrough in diesel engines diagnostics.


AVL started to use Laser Doppler Anemometry (LDA) technology for contact-free measurement of in-cylinder flow phenomena.


AVL provided the first real-time glimpse of the combustion phenomena of diesel engines with its high-speed endoscope photography (at 22,000 images per second).


AVL was the first company to market a product family of thyristor-controlled asynchronous machines (APA) as testbed drive and brake machines. They permitted higher speed ranges, required little maintenance and superseded the direct-current machines used up until then.


The first highly dynamic testbed enabled dynamic vehicle phenomena to be mapped realistically and in a way that is true to life. Operating a real engine in a virtual vehicle including driver simulation became a reality.


The world's first HSDI diesel engine went into large-scale production as the propulsion system for a light commercial vehicle.


Spurred on by the huge success of its diesel injection, AVL decided to develop a direct injection system for SI engines.

FIRE, the AVL-designed 3D CFD software package, was launched on the market, thus laying the foundation stone for the new AST division (Advanced Simulation Technologies).

Using the laser induced fluorescence method (LIF), evaporated fuel can be traced in surfaces and made visible.


Tomographic combustion analysis (TCA) revolutionized SI engine development. For the first time ever, combustion phenomena were recorded optically on a pre-series production engine.


Crystal growing - another milestone: After more than ten years' R&D, pressure transducers were used for the first time with the new, synthetic piezoelectric material, GaPO4, developed by AVL.


AVL was the only company in the world to supply load assemblies for the dynamic testing of racing engines (such as Formula 1, Indy series) which permitted the simulation of every possible racing condition.


AVL was the first company in the world to use automatic calibration of dynamic engine functions on the testbed.


AVL put the world's largest 4-wheel acoustic chassis dynamometer into operation for driving speeds of up to 200 km/h.


AVL Advanced Simulation Technologies launched CRUISE, the software product which was able, for the first time ever, to simulate handling, oil consumption and emissions even at a very early development stage.


Testbed technology of the future: The worlds of numeric simulation and testbed technology are converging. AVL simulation, test and measurement tools are constantly being optimized in their interaction with each other in order to maximize productivity in an integrated development process.


Market introduction of a new generation of Emissions Test Systems: the CEB II Emissions Analysis System and the CEC modular CVS System.


Launch of AVL IndiCom, the new open indicating software for combustion analysis


Market Introduction of AVL PUMA Open - the new generation testbed automation system, designed as an integration platform to optimize workflow and reduce the complexity of test systems for the user to a minimum

AVL-Zöllner becomes 100% AVL affiliate, in order to focus on automotive applications and to profit from organisational synergies.


Engine testing center MTC AB acquired by AVL
The integration of MTC AB, located near Stockholm in Sweden, into the AVL group has the goal to facilitate networking between the nordic countries and AVL's headquater in Austria as well as the tech centers all over the world and to increase the presence close to the customer.

AVL Test Track – opening of a new application facility
With this professional facility near the headquater Graz, AVL completes the service range of application engineering fulfilling customer demands on emissions, acoustic and driveability optimisation for SOP vehicles


Grand Opening of the Helmut-List-Halle
The hall is the product of bridging science and art. Going far beyond sponsoring in its classic sense, this project means that researchers are in constant touch with artists and artists with researchers

AVL takes over the engine developer Dr.Schrick in Germany
Bringing the technological expertise of Dr.Schrick GmbH to the global AVL group, AVL sets another step in the company's strategy of greater customer orientation through international expansion.

AVL launches an AVL Innovation in Sensor Detection
The world's only indicating measurement system with complete communication.


AVL presents EmIQ™ an intelligent emission reduction approach for clean diesel engines. In combination with a diesel particulate filter, EmIQ reduces the pollution from a conventional diesel engine by up to 99%. The technology has already been successfully tested in several vehicles. It meant that AVL could offer a very innovative, attractive and practicable solution to the market.

In barely three years, and on behalf of DaimlerChrysler AG, AVL constructed 'Motorenhaus III', a seven-storey testing and testbed centre with a total of 72 testing modules for the Mercedes-Benz Technology Centre (MTC) at the Untertürkheim site in Germany. The value of the contract for the 'Motorenhaus III' project was over 110 million Euro.

The emissions division of Pierburg Instruments GmbH in Germany – a subsidiary of AVL with headquarters in Graz, Austria –merged with PEUS Systems GmbH with facilities in Gaggenau, Eisenberg and Bruchsal (Germany) as well as in Ann Arbor (Michigan, USA). his enlargement of AVL's emissions business will increase turnover to around 60 million Euro and the market share to 30 percent.
2005 Completion of a €70 million investment plan at AVL Headquarters with the opening of the redesigned Hans List Plaza


AVL develops the YaMZ 536 high-performance truck engine for a Russian customer.

AVL introduces the i60 series of Emission measurement systems. Setting a new industry standard in usability, accuracy and reliability.

AVL expands electronics portfolio: With the newly tailored „Powertrain Software Strategy" AVL is looking to increase their focus on the area of calibration software for powertrain control units which includes for example engine, transmission, hybrid and exhaust gas after-treatment control.

AVL takes over Le Moteur Moderne. As a local contact for the French automobile industry, LMM will represent the global AVL engineering network and will also integrate services from the global tech centers of AVL.


AVL amplifies its activities in the fields of application and software development in Germany and founds the wholly owned subsidiary "AVL Software and Functions GmbH" in Regensburg.

AVL presents its new image: kaleidoscope pictures which are intended to symbolize the unique business of AVL and a new logo guarantee a new strong brand image of the globally present company.

60 Years of Innovation: Providing an essential and continuous contribution to the developments in the automotive industry on the basis of technical innovations, that characterizes the high-tech company AVL for the previous 60 years.


AVL and the renowned transmission specialist GIF, headquartered in Alsdorf, Germany, signed a cooperation agreement. It covers the areas of powertrain and transmission development for passenger cars and light trucks as well as testbed technology.

AVL again has the leading position amongst the most innovative companies of the country: with 60 granted inventions in the previous year, the high-tech company headquartered in Graz, Austria, is clearly on the top spot. Over the past ten years, AVL applied for a total of 615 patents and utility patents with the Austrian Patent Office.

For the first time AVL presents the "AVL Pure Range Extender". This new device is aimed to extend the range of electrically powered vehicles as well as to reduce the size and costs of the batteries.


New technology presented for the first time: AVL Real-Life Testing is a learning platform that enables a methodic and lasting improvement of models with the help of practical know-how.

Having purchased NTC Powertrain, the high-tech company AVL now also has a foothold in Australia. The focus of the activity in Sydney is on transmission development for the high-volume passenger car market.

With the opening of its battery laboratory at AVL Shanghai Tech Center in China, the company has taken a further visible step on the path toward powertrain electrification in the area of battery development.

At the Austria Tec Week within the scope of Expo Shanghai 2010, AVL presents an electric vehicle with a fuel cell range extender. The substantial advantage of the AVL Fuel Cell Commuter (AVL FCC) is its continuous availability due to the significantly reduced charging time.


Eight companies from five countries take part in the current project FUEREX which is sponsored by the European Union. The objective of the project, which is supposed to extend over a period of two years, is to show proof of the feasibility of the range extender technology for the automobile market. AVL is an important partner for this cooperation.

Major award from Maranello: AVL was honored by Ferrari at the Podio Ferrari 2011 award ceremony. The Ferrari Technology Award went to the high-tech company in recognition of its longstanding collaboration and commitment to the development of testbeds for Ferrari engines with particular focus on the current new Formula One standards.

Based on fully integrated, electrified drive concepts, AVL has developed a seamlessly integrated modular system. The system "AVL e-Fusion" enables both major cost savings and significantly reduced consumption.

2012 Prof. Helmut List´s 70th birthday. Born on December 20th, 1941, Helmut List has served as CEO of his family owned company since 1979. Together with his international management team he continues to lead the company with dynamism and flair along a path of success both economically as well as in the name of conscientious technical advancement.