by JohnNicholas on 08/29/2010
Bill Gates has invested a whopping $23.5 million US in engine producer EcoMotors International.
According to Green Car Reports;
The funding is to be used to further develop a new engine design called the Opposed Piston Opposed Cylinder, or OPOC for short. According to EcoMotors, based in suburban Detroit, the new OPOC engines feature 50 percent fewer parts than regular engines, while also being 50 percent more fuel efficient. Everyone knows that a lot of energy in internal combustion engines is wasted due to frictional losses, and having 50 percent fewer parts should go a long way to remedying this issue.
But that’s only part of the story–the OPOC engine also features a two-stroke design. The benefit here is that a two-stroke engine delivers a power pulse with every revolution of the crankshaft, as opposed to the four-stroke engine which fires each cylinder on every other revolution.
Previous two-stroke designs were quickly banished as emissions standards started to get tougher. The design is such that unburned fuel and lubricating oils are released through the exhaust, causing emissions to be much higher. However, EcoMotors believes its design has overcome this challenge.
To read the entire Green Car Article, click here – www.greencarreports.com
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:
High Efficiency: 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.
Low Cost: With50% 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.