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EcoMotors CEO Joins Board of Transonic Combustion

Transonic Combustion, Inc., a start-up developing a supercritical fuel injection system that can improve the fuel economy of internal combustion engines by between 50-75% (earlier post), announced that Donald Runkle, CEO of EcoMotors, has joined Transonic’s board of directors. EcoMotors is developing opposed piston opposed cylinder (opoc) engines (earlier post). Both are Khosla Ventures portfolio companies.

Major improvements to fuel injection technology represent a significant opportunity to improve internal combustion engine efficiency. Transonic’s supercritical fuel injection system is at the forefront of such new thinking and innovation in powertrain component development that can significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions. I’m enthusiastic to join Transonic’s team, its mission to offer such a valuable product proposition and its talented staff dedicated to a lower carbon future.

—Don Runkle

Since 2009, Runkle serves as CEO of EcoMotors. Until mid-2005, Runkle served as vice chairman and chief technology officer of Delphi Corp., responsible for deploying lean principles and integrating engineering, manufacturing and purchasing, and for leading major international customer accounts.

Before his time with Delphi, Runkle served in several engineering leadership roles with General Motors. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, as well as an MBA from MIT.



With this improved fuel injection system, ICE's efficiency could go form about 20% to something between 30% and 35%. This is good news but it leaves a lot of room for further gain in efficiency.

Henry Gibson

The largest piston engines in ships can get %50. The ordinary efficiency of automobiles is very low. fifty percent is about the maximum for any type of engine and is almost as good as most fuelcells.

Even with an efficient engine, automobiles are operated at high speeds through the air which is inherantly inefficient. Any carbon reduction efforts are fraudulent if motorway speed limits are kept high. ..HG..


If you can get emissions down using fuel injection technologies or dual fuelling with natural gas, the large diesel engines become a good option for distributed generation, they could also be installed to power electric vehicle charging stations.

There is an interesting presentation here

As an alternative to centralised steam cycle coal plants, instead using micronised coal in diesel engines for distributed generation

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