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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 alternatives like electric motors and better batteries are ready for widespread consumption. One such venture is EcoMotors International, which just got a rather large investment from one Bill Gates.

Vapor vs. vapor? That could be the case as super-secretive EEStor could potentially face competition in the ultra-capacitor space from Recapping. We've never heard of Recapping before, but the startup is backed by Khosla Ventures and recently received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla has not been shy about making his bets on the automotive future known. Wherever there has been an opportunity to invest in or promote advanced ethanol, it seems Khosla was there, giving it at least a cursory look (see, for example, Coskata, which GM also invested in). He even described his "big biofuels bet" back in 2006.

When I hear the name Vinod Khosla three things immediately come to mind - lots and lots of money, Sun Microsystems and ethanol. If you're not familiar with Mr. Khosla, the first thing you need to grasp is that he's one of Silicon Valley's most influential people. In 1982, he co-founded Sun Microsystems. In 1986, he became a partner at one of the Valley's largest venture capital firms. And in 2004, he went off on his own to start Khosla Ventures. So why do we keep talking about him on AutoblogGre