ALLEN PARK — EcoMotors, developers of the opposed-piston-opposed-cylinder engine, announced a deal with Zhongding Power of Xuancheng, China to build a $200 million plant in Anhui Province.
The plant will have the capacity to build about 150,000 engines a year, a revenue potential of more than $1 billion. High-volume production is expected to begin in 2014.
EcoMotors says its “opoc” engine technology can deliver the same power level as conventional engines at half the size, a lower cost, and lower emissions. With the potential for 20 to 50 percent better fuel economy compared to a conventional turbo-diesel engine, EcoMotors’ opoc engine has the potential to revolutionize the internal combustion engine.
The inaugural opoc plant has received the full support of key Chinese government bodies, including the Xuancheng government and Anhui provincial authorities; a second Zhongding production site may be announced at a later date. Zhongding plans to supply opoc engines to a broad range of customers, including generator engines, off-road and commercial vehicles. A key provision of the agreement allocates a portion of the plant’s output to EcoMotors for sale and distribution to its own direct customers.
“Continued progress in development of the opoc engine has brought us to the next phase of development,” said Xia Ding Hu, CEO of Zhongding Power. “With the enthusiastic backing from both our provincial and national governmental bodies, we are now ready to complete the design of the engine as we head toward launching a state-of-the-art opoc engine manufacturing facility in Anhui Province.”
Added Andrew Chung, an EcoMotors board member and the Khosla Ventures partner who leads the firm’s Chinese activities: “This partnership represents another great opportunity for U.S.-China collaboration in scaling clean technologies. With a full funding commitment from Zhongding, EcoMotors proves that with great technology, cleantech companies can indeed commercialize capital efficiently alongside visionary partners.”
“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.”
Zhongding Holding Group Co. Ltd. is a diversified international company established in 1980 with headquarters located within the economic and technical development zone of Ningguo, Anhui Province, China. Today, the Group comprises 20 modern automotive components entities including Zhongding Power, operating both domestically and internationally.
Established in 2008 and based in Allen Park, EcoMotors 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 a broad range of industrial markets. Vinod Khosla, who founded the firm in 2004, is a founder of Sun Microsystems and was formerly a general partner at Kleiner Perkins. Gates has been an enthusiastic supporter of EcoMotors, and Braemar Energy Ventures, a New York based energy technology venture capital firm that specializes in investing in early to growth stage companies with disruptive technologies, has led the most recent round of investment as EcoMotors extends its scope around the world.