ALLEN PARK — EcoMotors International, developer of the efficient, clean, lightweight, powerful opoc engine, announced that former Cummins executive Amit Soman is the company’s new COO, effective this week. Amit replaces former COO John Coletti, who retired from the company earlier this year.
“Amit is a welcome addition to EcoMotors,” said Don Runkle, EcoMotors’ CEO. “His breadth and depth of experience across all facets of the global engine business makes him the ideal candidate to lead both our engineering and our business development groups. Amit joins at a time when the company has successfully delivered prototypes showing excellent emissions, efficiency and costs. Our commercial progress in the Asia-Pacific region will be bolstered by Amit’s experience in that region.”
During the past fourteen years at Cummins, the largest independent diesel engine maker in the world, Amit was general manager of Asia-Pacific Operations, based in Beijing, China. In this role he led the emission business unit in China, India, Russia, Korea and the Pacific Rim to over $1.5 billion of awarded business. Prior to his role in China, Amit was in two different plant manager roles in Wisconsin and Indiana, and also held responsibility as director of operations for Cummins’ R&D test assets.
He holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Cincinnati, an MBA from Colorado State University, and has completed the program on negotiations at the Harvard Business School. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, and a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Amit and his family will relocate from Beijing to the greater Detroit area in the near future.
“EcoMotors’ remarkable opoc engine is a truly disruptive propulsion technology, and I am thrilled to join the remarkable team that Don and professor Peter Hofbauer (EcoMotors chairman, founder and CTO) have assembled,” Soman said. “Their invitation to participate in the development and commercialization of this game-changing engine is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity.”
Andrew Chung, partner at Khosla Ventures and a member of Ecomotors’ board, added: “With Ecomotors entering the commercialization phase, we searched far and wide to find a leader with a rare blend of engine experience, global management capability, and entrepreneurial verve to complement our world-class team. We were thrilled to find Amit, who is exactly the type of executive who will help Ecomotors reinvent the world of transportation.”
The clean, efficient, and elegantly simple Opposed-Piston-Opposed-Cylinder opoc architecture is comprised of 50 percent 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 percent reduction in both fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in “Dual-Module” configurations when compared with conventional engines of similar power.
Established in 2008, EcoMotors is based in Allen Park, and is commercializing the opoc engine for use in cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles, aerospace, marine, agriculture, auxiliary power units, generators, and more.
EcoMotors primary investors are Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates and Braemar Energy Ventures. Khosla Ventures, based in Menlo Park, Calif., 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 bio-plastics, and other environmentally friendly technologies as well as traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile and silicon technology arenas. Vinod Khosla, who founded the firm in 2004, is a founder of Sun Microsystems and was formerly a general partner at Kleiner Perkins. Bill Gates has been an enthusiastic supporter of EcoMotors and Braemar Energy Ventures has led the most recent round of investment as EcoMotors extends its scope around the world.