EcoMotors of Allen Park, Mich., the innovator of the opoc opposed-piston diesel engine, has announced a partnership to mass produce the design with Zhongding Power in the Anhui Province, China.
The highly power-dense engine is described by EcoMotors as “a breakthrough technology that has the potential to be the world’s cleanest, most efficient, lightweight, and lowest cost internal combustion engine.”
Zhongding Power is offering $200 million to produce about 150,000 engines per year, and this news follows several years of attempts to raise funds, with support coming from a variety of sources, including Bill Gates.
High-volume production is tentatively scheduled for 2014, and expected revenues of $1 billion from the venture with Zhongding.
“This partnership represents another great opportunity for U.S.-China collaboration in scaling clean technologies,” said Andrew Chung, EcoMotors board member and partner at Khosla Ventures, who leads its China activities. “With a full funding commitment from Zhongding, EcoMotors proves that with great technology, cleantech companies can indeed commercialize capital efficiently alongside visionary partners. We are delighted to work with Zhongding to bring this important technology to the citizens of the world.”
EcoMotors says compared to a conventional turbo-diesel engine, an equally powerful opoc engine is half the size, costs less, and produces fewer emissions.
Fuel economy is said to be 20-50-percent improved and the design has “the potential to revolutionize the internal combustion engine.”
A second Zhongding plant may be announced later, and the project has full approval of key Chinese government bodies.
Initial applications for the opoc engines include use as generator sets, off-road and commercial vehicles. The agreement will allocate a portion of the plant’s output to EcoMotors for sale and distribution to its own direct customers.
“This agreement is a key milestone in bringing our innovative engine technology to market and underscores the potent disruptive force that is opoc,” said Don Runkle, CEO of EcoMotors who was former Vice Chairman and CTO of Delphi and a 30-year executive at General Motors. “Our game-changing 21st century internal-combustion opoc® engine technology offers a unique combination of lower fuel consumption and operating costs at lower production costs. These characteristics are important to progressive companies and countries as they seek to overcome environmental challenges of the future.”