John McElroy of Autoline Detroit
isn't the only one enthused by this engine, as a good amount of Internet buzz was generated by the announcement yesterday that Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla and, most notably, Bill Gates have invested $23.5 million in EcoMotors. Here's Autoblog
's article, followed by the official press release:
EcoMotors gets $23.5m boost from Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla
by Jeremy Korzeniewski
Don't count out the good old internal combustion engine just yet. A number of companies are working on new engine designs that can help pick up the slack until other alternatives, like electric motors, better batteries and a hydrogen infrastructure, are ready for mass consumption. One such venture is EcoMotors International, which just got a rather large investment from none other than Bill Gates.
A total of $23.5 million was invested by the aforementioned Chairman of Microsoft along with Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla, who's Khosla Ventures firm reportedly owns 47 percent of EcoMotors. According to the company, its opposed piston and cylinder Opoc engine technology was developed by Peter Hofbauer, who previously headed powertrain development at Volkswagen and designed the German automaker's clean diesel technology.
EcoMotors claims that its new mill weighs 50 percent less than other internal combustion engines while using 50 percent less fuel. Planned for applications include cars, trucks and any other machine utilizing an engine. Get all the details in the press release after the break.
Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates Invest in EcoMotors' Revolutionary opoc® Engine
Securing "Series B" funding from two prominent investors represents a major advance in the global commercialization of the opoc® technology.
TROY, Michigan, July 12, 2010 -- EcoMotors International CEO Don Runkle announced today that the Company has secured substantial Series B funding – sufficient to complete engineering and testing of the opoc® engine.
The two exclusive investors in EcoMotors' Series B are Khosla Ventures of Menlo Park, California and Bill Gates. The two principals, Vinod Khosla and Bill Gates, indicate their stakes in EcoMotors reflect a shared belief in the global potential of the opoc® technology and the impact it can have on transportation emissions because of its cost effectiveness.
"opoc® is precisely the kind of game-changing innovation that we at Khosla Ventures are passionate about," said Khosla. "The only truly disruptive technologies are those that can provide not only payback in months but also economic and carbon benefits to large segments of the world's population without the need for subsidies or massive infrastructure investments. Among next-generation propulsion systems, the opoc® engine is broadly applicable and can provide lower carbon emissions than almost any other technology."
"The opoc® engine can be an important step in providing affordable, low-emission transportation for the developing world," said Gates. "EcoMotors has developed a promising technology that could help reduce levels of greenhouse gas emissions in a low-cost, globally relevant way."
The revolutionary opoc® architecture of opposed pistons and opposed cylinders provides unparalleled benefits:
The unique enginearchitecture – which offers true modular displacement capability - delivers up to 50% greater fuel efficiency compared with conventional engines of similar output, along with a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Half the weight and half the size of conventional engines: Theopoc® engine provides unparalleled power density and flexibility in automobile and truck design as well as other engine applications.
With 50% fewer parts than a conventional engine, the opoc® is less expensive to manufacture, to purchase, to operate and to tool up.
Established in early 2008, EcoMotors is quickly achieving critical mass in terms of changing the landscape of internal combustion power. Based in Troy, Mich., EcoMotors is commercializing the unique opoc® engine for use in cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles, aerospace, marine, agriculture, auxiliary power units, generators, etc. Anywhere conventional gas or diesel power is currently utilized, opoc® represents a better propulsion solution.
EcoMotors is led by Don Runkle (Chief Executive Officer) and Prof. Peter Hofbauer (Chairman and Chief Technical Officer).
opoc® was conceived by Prof. Peter Hofbauer – who formerly as Head of Powertrain Development at VW designed the original VW high speed diesel engine that became the foundation for the Jetta Clean Diesel that won 2009 Green Car of the Year honors. Don Runkle, as former VP of N.A. Engineering at GM, spearheaded the GM EV1 electric car along with countless other innovations.
EcoMotors is a Khosla Ventures portfolio company. Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in breakthrough scientific work in clean technology areas such as solar, battery, high efficiency engines, lighting, greener materials like cement, glass and bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, and other environmentally friendly technologies as well as traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile and silicon technology arenas. Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 and was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems. Khosla Ventures is based in Menlo Park, California.
EcoMotors gets $23.5m boost from Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla — Autoblog