Bill Gates invests $23.5 million in EcoMotors International

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A file photo of former Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.

Venture capitalist Bill Gates has fueled the green automotive cause with his recent donation to EcoMotors International. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Getting green automotive technology off the ground requires a large capital investment; that’s why it never hurts to have Bill Gates in your corner if you’re EcoMotors International. The startup that is committed to the development of environmentally friendly automotive engine technology received a massive investment from the former Microsoft chairman in the amount of $23.5 million. According to the Wall Street Journal, the investment will “help complete engineering and testing of the company’s low-emissions engine,” the Opposed-Piston Opposed-Cylinder engine (OPOC).

EcoMotors International’s OPOC ‘an important step,’ says Gates

Gates told the Journal that the Troy, Mich.-based EcoMotors International is on the cusp of making big noise in the field of “low-emission transportation for the developing world.” Considering that since the company opened its doors in 2008, it had raised between $10 million and $15 million, Gates’ $23.5 million contribution is a significant step forward. According to EcoMotors International CEO Donald Runkle, the OPOC diesel engine will not only be more efficient than standard internal combustion engines, it will be cheaper to build. The ROI after OPOC engines begin to appear in cars, trucks and even planes likely will be tremendous.

What makes the OPOC so special that Bill Gates invested $23.5 million?

The Opposed-Piston Opposed-Cylinder Engine has the ability to run on a variety of different fuels, from standard gasoline to diesel fuel or even ethanol. As EcoMotors International explains on their website:

“The engine operates on the 2-cycle principle, generating one power stroke per crank revolution per cylinder. It comprises two opposing cylinders per module, with a crankshaft between them, and each cylinder has two pistons moving in opposite directions. This innovative design configuration eliminates the cylinder-head and valve-train components of conventional engines, offering an efficient, compact and simple core engine structure.”

Simple is better, simple is green

This means that the OPOC engine is lighter than a standard internal combustion engine, which allows it to move the vehicle with greater efficiency. It also produces less exhaust in the process, making it a darling of green automotive engine design. Bill Gates’ investment in EcoMotors International advances the necessary research needed to make green engines a consumer reality by leaps and bounds.

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Wall Street Journal

EcoMotors OPOC diesel engine explained


  1. Robert Karaim on

    this could be the motor to break 19th century technology design we still use. Lighter smaller 60 mpg and 50% less emissions