Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates Invest in opoc Engine Developer EcoMotors

EcoMotors International has securedsubstantial” Series B funding sufficient to complete engineering and testing of the opoc (opposed piston opposed cylinder) engine (earlier post), according to CEO Don Runkle. The two exclusive investors in EcoMotors’ Series B are Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates.

The two principals, Vinod Khosla and Bill Gates, indicated that their stakes in EcoMotors reflect a shared belief in the global potential of the opoc technology and its potential impact 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. 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.

—Vinod Khosla

The opoc engine can be an important step in providing affordable, low-emission transportation for the developing world. EcoMotors has developed a promising technology that could help reduce levels of greenhouse gas emissions in a low-cost, globally relevant way.

—Bill Gates

The opoc engine operates on the 2-cycle principle, generating one power stroke per crank revolution per cylinder. Each module consists of two opposing cylinders per module, with a crankshaft between them; each cylinder has two pistons moving in opposite directions. This design configuration eliminates the cylinder-head and valvetrain components of conventional engines, offering a more efficient, compact and simple core engine structure, the company says. The power density is more than 1 hp per pound of engine weight. The fully balanced opoc engine can be run on any liquid fuel.

In June, EADS Innovation Works presented a concept helicopter with a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system equipped with opoc diesels manufactured by EcoMotors. (Earlier post.)

Khosla Ventures is also an investor in Transonic, the developer of a supercritical fuel-injection technology that enables a lean combustion process and greatly improves engine efficiency by reducing fuel consumption at a given output power. (Earlier post.)


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