When your company has received two rounds of funding that involved money from Bill Gates, there's a good chance that your technology is pretty good. EcoMotors International is in that category now that its most-recent financing round included a second investment from the Microsoft Founder.

EcoMotors, which makes especially efficient internal combustion engines and has more recently started making diesel motors, just announced a $32.5-million Series C financing round, which also includes repeat funding partners Khosla Ventures and new investor Braemar Energy Ventures. So far, the company, which counts Navistar and Zhongding Holding Group as its customers, has raised $66 million in equity. Gates and Silicon Valley-based Khosla Ventures were part of a July 2010 funding round that totaled $23.5 million.

EcoMotors' engines use what it calls an Opposed-Piston-Opposed-Cylinder (OPOC) layout, which the company says uses just 40 percent of the components of a traditional engine and cut fuel use in half. The OPOC layout was developed by Peter Hofbauer, who'd previously been a key player in developing Volkswagen's clean-diesel engines.
Show full PR text
EcoMotors Closes US $32.5 Million Series C
Braemar Energy Venture leads round, along with Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures

Allen Park, MI and New York, NY, July 10, 2012 – EcoMotors International, developer of the efficient, clean, lightweight, powerful opoc® engine, announced today that it has completed its Series C round with a new investment totaling US $32.5 million, led by Braemar Energy Ventures. Existing investors Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures also participated in the round. To date, EcoMotors has raised more than $66 million.

The funding will allow EcoMotors to expand its research and development capability in support of growing the Company's already robust intellectual property base and moving to the next stage of opoc® diesel engine development with two important customers, Navistar and Zhongding Holding Group. The new capital will also enable EcoMotors to accelerate the creation of gasoline versions of opoc® to meet increasing customer demand for cost effective fuel economy gains in cars, light trucks, hybrids, and extended range EVs.

"We are delighted to welcome Braemar Energy Ventures to the EcoMotors team," said Don Runkle, EcoMotors's CEO. "Braemar's depth of experience in energy innovation makes them the perfect partner as we embark on a significant phase of development and delivery of our revolutionary opoc® engine technology."

Runkle also announced that Braemar Managing Director William D. Lese will join the EcoMotors Board of Directors. "We look forward to tapping into Bill's vast knowledge of, and insight into, the arena of 'next generation' energy pioneers. His vision will be instrumental as we expand our R&D, accelerate our customer programs, and embark on the development of new versions of the opoc®." Lese has more than 27 years of research, operating and venture capital experience in the energy and environmental businesses. Prior to co-founding Braemar, Lese was a partner with Mantis Holdings, Inc., a venture capital firm focused on investing in environmental and energy-efficiency companies. He serves on the Advisory Committee of the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and renewable Economy (NYC ACRE). He also currently serves on the boards of Coaltek, Utility Associates, CIRIS Energy, OPX Biotechnologies, Solazyme, Stion, CRB, General Fusion, Proterro, Bioformix, and is chairman of the board of Solicore and Ioxus.

"EcoMotors's remarkable opoc® engine is exactly the type of cost-competitive, sustainable and environmentally responsible technology needed to propel growth in industrialized and developing nations as we move through the second decade of the 21st century." said Lese. "EcoMotors is an ideal fit for the Braemar portfolio, and we look forward to supporting Don and his innovative team as they bring their uniquely disruptive technologies to market."

EcoMotors is developing a multi-fuel family of engines to serve the expanding roster of opoc® customers in both automotive and non-automotive markets. These include diesel versions specifically for GenSet and commercial vehicle applications, gasoline versions, and a CNG version ideally suited to leverage CNG's fuel cost advantages while negating the traditional CNG issues of reduced power and range, and conversion costs.

The clean, efficient, and elegantly simple Opposed-Piston-Opposed-Cylinder opoc® architecture comprises 60% fewer components and far less mass than conventional engines. The perfectly balanced design means smooth, quiet and virtually vibration-free operation. The fully modular capability of opoc® enables remarkable efficiency gains – as much as a 50% reduction in both fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Menlo Park-based Khosla Ventures was a founding investor in EcoMotors and was joined by Bill Gates, who led the Series B funding round, to continue supporting the company through the Series C funding.

About Braemar Energy Ventures
Braemar Energy Ventures is a venture capital fund making early to mid-stage investments in energy technology companies. The firm's principals have invested in more than 60 companies in the sector and have more than 100 years of combined technical, operational and financial experience in energy and energy-related industries. Braemar partners with exceptional companies and management teams, in both alternative and traditional energy markets that can contribute to a more profitable and efficient energy landscape through innovation and marketplace expertise. Additional information is available at www.braemarenergy.com.

About Khosla Ventures
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 bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar, battery 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. More information is available at www.khoslaventures.com.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      I try to stick to reality. you have to resort to fantasy to think you're better than me
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh.. must be "internal combustion engine breakthrough" season. Go on. Tell us about all those cool rotary, HCCI, MUSIC, opposed piston, etc engines... we can pretend it's 2008 again!
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        that cyclone seems to work just fine, and it's steam! :)
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        I wish HCCI worked. I don't think it ever will though.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        I actually don't remember that one. I just remember 2008 being vaporware central
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        don't forget the MyT engine
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope to see this engine in a production vehicle. It's been a while since we've had any real innovation in engine development. Peter Hofbauer was a key guy in VW's TDi engine development.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, if ever this engine is as good as they say and is put for sale, it will be a game changer. I heard many time some similar projects but never saw working prototype.. I found 3 youtube videos about this compagny and i noticed no footage of an actual working prototype even if they say it is simple and needs fewer parts. Anyway i might be interrested to buy if ever they are true. I will prefer a small version of this engine powering an electrical generator in a battery car like the volt. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kelXR9-uLPI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buX89nlww2E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73eBhTLP0Cc
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      We havent' seen any prototype of the engine, but maybe investors did. It's a little premature to call this a scam...so let's all wait and see and issue a judgement later.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        true dat. Also, although Bill Gates isn't the visionary of Steve Jobs, he also didn't get to be a billionaire by making poor investments.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      and btw, try to remember when I'm right and opoc here played little or no role.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      we've never even seen a working prototype let alone a single product sold by these clowns. all they do is gather oceans of money. I'd guess they will plow through a couple hundred million, never make a product available for sale while waiting for the big automakers to come and throw money at them. and when that never happens they will declare bankruptcy. Bill Gates, you are doing it wrong. climb out of your ivory tower and talk to me here and we'll have this world fixed in no time. betting everything on this complex two stroke is unlikely to save the world. I'd be surprised if it plays any role whatsoever. electric drive is the most promising way and after that it's gravity modification.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Interesting exchange between Dan Frederiksen and Bill Gates outside the Auditorium entrance of the Nob Hill Masonic Center, San Francisco. DF (shouting) "Bill Gates, you are doing it wrong. climb out of your ivory tower and talk to me here and we'll have this world fixed in no time." ! Bill Gates (clenched teeth)" #*@ #** Troll ! " DF (Louder) "Satan takes you into the clutches of the evil masons ! , Listen to me ! " Large Security Officer (firmly, but patiently) "C'mon, fella, y'know what the judge said last time...." DF (kicking) " How dare You lay hand on my superior being, I am the ambassador for Xardoc in the 7th galactic... " SFPD, " Stop resisting !" (gives Taser warning) DF, (struggling frantically)" I warn you, you Satan worshiping, gay, inferior race.....Aaaaaaargh !) " SFPD Sergeant holding Taser to SFPD subordinate, while watching DF's puny, but still twitching, figure thrown in police vehicle, " Funny, those trekkie's don't usually cause so much trouble, better give him a thorough examination to see what drugs he's concealing ! " Police vehicle departs, crowd cheers.....Inside Bill Gates rises to speak to thunderous applause. Meantime DF, is on his way to meet a whole new experience, and companions in the realms of the Halls of Justice building..........
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not sure why this needs so much investigation. It's just 1/3rd of a Deltic engine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napier_Deltic
    • Load More Comments