Monday, 26 October 2015

It’s official: Zhongding is an investor in EcoMotors

EcoMotors has today broken its long silence to report that it has secured a lead investor for its largest customer, Zhongding Power, giving renewed emphasis for the opposed-piston two-stroke diesel engine (opoc) the two firms are engaged in bringing to market.
The latest news will be welcomed by those who may have been left wondering if the original deal between EcoMotors and Zhongding had gone off the boil, as promises had been made that volume production of the opoc engine would begin this year.

But since that pronouncement many, many months ago there has been an eerie period of silence, although in June oof this year, Cummins Inc. announced a tie-up with Achates Power Inc. for an opposed-piston two-stroke engine..

Although the amount of the Zhongding investment is not revealed - the figure may be only five or 10 million US dollars - the level of funding would seem to  signal a tightening of the bond between the two companies, which is important for the the US company, if no on else.

Zhongding Power, part of the Chinese Zhongding Group, signed a product development agreement in 2010 and license agreement in 2013 to develop and produce EcoMotors’ opoc engine technology in China.

EcoMotors says that opoc is a “breakthrough engine technology” with the potential to be "the world’s most efficient, cost effective, lightweight internal combustion engine".

Industry observers are keenly waiting to hear what levels of ‘real-world’ performance the opoc engine will be able to deliver, as well as the two companies’ choice of materials, fuelling system and exhaust emission management to meet statutory requirements.

However, EcoMotors adds, reassuringly, that as one of the largest automotive component conglomerates in China, Zhongding “will finance and construct the first opoc plant in the Anhui province”.

Zhongding joins an elite group of investors, including Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures and Braemar Energy Ventures, sharing the belief of the global potential of opoc technology and the disruptive effect it will have on the industry.

“Zhongding is EcoMotors’ first customer; it’s a pleasure to now have them as one of our key investors as well” EcoMotors’ president and chief executive officer Amit Soman said. “They, like Bill Gates and Khosla, believe we can change how people think about the combustion engine and create a technology that will be revolutionary for the entire world.”

“Zhongding is proud to be a major driver of a technology that has the potential to have a global impact on so many different industries and products,” declares Xia Dinghu, chairman of Zhongding Group. “We believe that this game-changing technology will help solve some of the environmental challenges we face today by offering a more efficient and lower cost engine.”

A company statement reinforces earlier pronouncements, namely that “The existing agreement with EcoMotors represents an investment by Zhongding of more than $200 million. The new plant will have a capacity to produce an estimated 100,000 engines per year.”

EcoMotors promises that the opoc engine will deliver the same power levels as conventional engines but in a smaller, lighter, more cost effective package. When compared to a state-of-the-art, conventional turbo-diesel engine, the opoc engine has the potential to deliver an improvement of more than 15 per cent in fuel economy.

Zhongding says it plans to supply opoc engines to a broad range of customers and applications, including power generation sets, as well as off-road and commercial vehicles.

Established in 2008, EcoMotors says it is changing the landscape of internal combustion power. Based in Allen Park, Michigan, EcoMotors is commercializing the opoc engine for use in cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles, marine, agriculture, auxiliary power units and generators. “Anywhere conventional gas or diesel power is currently utilized, opoc represents a better propulsion solution”, states EcoMotors boldly.

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.

1 comment:

Willy Persson said...

In April 2013 EcoMotors announced a deal to have Chinese auto parts giant Zhongding Power build a $200 million factory in the Anhui Province in eastern China. The factory hoped to produce 150,000 OPOC engines per year, with a further site reserved to take production to 400,000.[1] The engineblocks will be made of CGI ( compacted graphite iron) and will be produced at a fully automated Zhongding foundry in Anhui by a licence from Sintercast of Sweden which is the world leader in CGI-technology. The production was first annonced to commence in 2014 but is now delayed to the second half of 2015