EcoMotors and a subsidiary engine company of First Auto Works (FAW) in JV to build opoc engines in China (updated)
EcoMotors, Inc., (EM), developer of opposed-piston opposed-cylinder (opoc) engine technology (earlier post), has formed a joint venture with First Auto Works Jingye Engine Company (FAW JY) to develop, manufacture, sell and service the opoc engine technology in China.
The opoc architecture comprises 50% fewer components and far less mass than conventional internal combustion engines. The fully modular capability of opoc enables significant efficiency gains—up to nearly half the fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in “dual-module” configurations when compared with conventional engines of similar power.
The reduced mass and weight also allows automakers to fundamentally rethink the way they design vehicles, which holds the potential for further efficiencies through improved aerodynamics.
The joint venture, named BEM [Shanxi] Co., Ltd, is an important step as EM expands its business in China and continues to commercialize its technology globally. For FAW JY, the agreement allows them to bring the diesel opoc engine technology to China’s growing commercial automotive and engine market, and develop alternative fuel powertrains on the opoc architecture that use natural gas and methanol.
The development of alternate fuel engines will be managed by the engineering group in the JV.
FAW JY is fully funding the building of the commercial-scale plant in China’s Shanxi Province at a total investment in excess of US $200 million (USD); FAW JY will retain a 51% ownership of the joint venture with EM retaining 49%. Preparation for manufacturing is expected to begin in late 2014 at the new facility, with an estimated production capacity of 100,000 engines per year beginning in 2015.
In 2013, EcoMotors and Zhongding Power entered into an agreement for the production of the opoc engine (earlier post). One of the largest automotive component conglomerates in China, Zhongding is financing and constructing the first opoc plant in Anhui Province. The new JV with FAW does not change the partnership and relationship with Zhongding in any way, an EcoMotors spokesman said.