The primary reason for the slow adoption of Diesel's engine design was the inventor would only license the patent if it was practiced exactly according to his preferred embodiment. Particularly he required that diesel engines must inject fuel at a constant rate throughout the power stroke.

Diesel intended that his invention would be implemented in this manner to maximize fuel efficiency. This in turn dictated a low power:weight ratio and large size of engines produced under his license. Authors can be picky like that.