Khosla Backs EcoMotors

Khosla Ventures has made an investment in EcoMotors, an automotive company focused on fuel efficiency, low emissions and cost effective solutions for developing markets. Get more info.



Khosla Ventures today announced an investment in EcoMotors, an automotive company with a focus on fuel efficiency, low emissions and cost effective solutions for developing markets. EcoMotors has developed an innovative diesel engine that is aiming at delivering 100 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2011. This investment expands the venture capital firms focus on vehicle efficiency.

Coinciding with this announcement, Vinod Khosla will address North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Sunday, January 13, 2008. Mr. Khosla will share with Detroit his vision for the automotive industry, supported by anecdotes and developments from the innovative work coming out of the portfolio companies that Khosla Ventures has invested in.

There is substantial market opportunity for EcoMotors engine, as evidenced by the following industry demands and environmental considerations:

  • New CAFE Standards: the newly enacted law will require all manufacturers to improve fuel economy by 40% beginning in 2011. The focus of EcoMotors will be to address the challenges faced by the light truck vehicles in meeting the CAFE standards
  • More Stringent Diesel Emission Standards: the 2010 EPA standard is forcing all diesel manufacturers to invest heavily in new emission technology. EcoMotors low carbon footprint will enable vehicle to pass the EPA tests with minimum post treatment investments
  • The Rising Demand for Cars in Developing Countries: the growth of vehicle demand in China, India, and other developing countries will outpace the rest of the world. And large part of these vehicle fleets will be diesel engines. EcoMotors plans to offer a range of cost effective diesel engines from 15 HP up to 325 HP (or 625 HP with a dual module system) to address the various needs of developing markets including scooters, cars, trucks, marine and diesel power generation applications
  • $100 per Barrel Oil: with the continued rise in worldwide demand for oil, high oil prices will be the norm in the future. EcoMotors has a laser focus on fuel efficiency.
  • Flex Fuel Vehicles: the requirement to support multiple fuel types, such as diesel, gas, or ethanol (E85) is an important one. EcoMotors engines are designed to be adaptable to different fuel types
  • Hybrid Vehicles: we believe that serial plug-in hybrids will be the real solution as opposed to the parallel hybrid solutions on the market today. EcoMotors will have serial plug-in hybrid adaptations of its highly efficient engine for diesel, gas or ethanol
  • The Need for Better Engines for the Truck Market: trucks account for over 55% of all new vehicle sales in the U.S. Diesel engines from EcoMotors will be preferred for their low-end torque, fuel efficiency, and durability

“We’re focused on powering the automotive fleet of tomorrow with fuel efficient building blocks,” said Vinod Khosla, Founder and Managing Partner of Khosla Ventures. “This new investment in efficient diesel engines from EcoMotors complements our firm’s other investments in the engine space. These companies are at the forefront of forming a serial plug-in hybrid platform with our multiple investments in new battery technology,” continued Khosla. “The EcoMotors founders are experienced with multiple generations of engine design at top automotive companies. This experience will apply towards the design of the 100 mpg car.”

The EcoMotors team has been designing engines for the past forty years, since 1967. The teams specific accomplishments include developing the first high speed diesel-engines for all Volkswagens & Audis, the first 6 cylinder diesels for Volvo, the first 6-cylinder Inline-Compact-V (VR) engine in E/W installation in a compact car, first used in the Volkswagen Golf and the VR6-engine also used by Daimler-Benz. Additionally the EcoMotors team was involved in:

  • Converting the Boxer motor from air- to water-cooling
  • A total redesign of the Ford Mustang
  • The creation and introduction of the Ford GT
  • Building the SVT family of specialty performance vehicles including the Mustang Cobra, F150 Lightning, Contour, and Focus
  • Many other innovations in both commercial and military engine applications

We have searched long and hard for the best commercial partner to take our dreams to reality, said Peter Hofbauer, EcoMotors CEO. And Khosla Ventures is the best possible partner, with its focus on a green planet, a broad and deep portfolio across multiple related technologies, great connections in the industry and a well proven methodology of creating large companies. We are excited to deliver on the vision of the 100mpg car by 2011.

About Khosla Ventures

Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in both traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile, and silicon technology arenas but also supports breakthrough scientific work in clean technology areas such as bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar, battery and other environmentally friendly technologies. Khosla Ventures is based in Menlo Park, California. More information is available at

About EcoMotors

EcoMotors is developing innovative next-generation diesel engines, with a focus on fuel efficiency, low emissions and cost effective solutions for developing markets. The family of EcoMotors engines will set a new industry standard for clean efficient, lightweight, and durable propulsion systems for vehicles of all types. The compact, low-profile design of the EcoMotors engine family is the perfect solution for those manufacturers developing vehicles that offer More room for man, less room for machine. The inherently balanced EcoMotors engine family offers the unique ability to stack the modules and generate fuel efficiency improvements of over 50% with no compromise in vehicle power, performance, and driveability. The company is privately held and funded by Khosla Ventures, LLC, arguably the top venture firm in the U.S. focusing on alternative, green energy systems. The leadership team melds over forty years experience at leading automotive companies designing engines. EcoMotors vision is to bring to market the right technology for a changing world with cleaner and more fuel efficient engine designs.