EcoMotors Announces “Reshaping the Future” Design Competition with Premier Automotive Design Institutions
EcoMotors International, in conjunction with the two premier transportation design institutions in the country – Art Center College of Design (Pasadena) and the College for Creative Studies (Detroit), announces a competition to showcase the automotive design revolution heralded by the remarkably compact EcoMotors opoc® engine. During the Winter/Spring 2012 semester, students at the two colleges will create bold vehicle designs enabled by the packaging flexibility of the clean, efficient, and lightweight opoc®.
“The idea for this competition came out of internal discussions about a year ago,” said Don Runkle, CEO of EcoMotors. “We were talking about the dramatic ways that our opoc®, which is roughly half the size and weight, per horsepower, of a conventional internal combustion engine, can transform every category of vehicle. We looked at each other and said, ‘opoc® can literally reshape the future of automotive design’ – and the concept was born. We were absolutely thrilled when both Art Center and CCS signaled their enthusiasm not only for the design challenge, but also for some friendly LA versus Motown competition.”
“‘Reshaping the Future’” is the kind of project we dream about being able to bring to our students,” said Stewart Reed, Chair of the Transportation Design Department at Art Center College of Design. “The amazingly package-efficient opoc® engine holds the potential to shatter the design constraints dictated by traditional engines.” Mark West, the Paul and Helen Farago Chair of Transportation Design at the College for Creative Studies, added, “Our students are tremendously excited to create vehicle designs that, prior to opoc®, were beyond the realm of feasibility. EcoMotors has given them license to think outside the confines of traditional shapes and layouts and, thus, exploit opoc®’s incredible compactness and power density to best effect.”
Students will choose from three vehicle categories for their designs:
- Mid-size passenger sedan
- Full-size pickup truck
- New-concept “global car” vehicle for emerging markets
Later in the semester, each school will select three designs – one from each category – to move on to the final round of evaluation by an independent jury led by Jack Telnack, retired Global Vice President of Design at Ford Motor Company. Jack has recruited two of his fellow “emeritus” design chiefs – Wayne Cherry of General Motors and Tom Gale of Chrysler – to join him on the jury. Results and awards are scheduled to be announced coincident with the 2012 Los Angeles International Show, in November.
Established in early 2008, EcoMotors is changing the landscape of internal combustion power. Based in Allen Park, Mich., EcoMotors is commercializing the unique opoc® engine for use in cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles, aerospace, marine, agriculture, auxiliary power units, generators, etc. Anywhere conventional gas or diesel power is currently utilized, opoc® represents a better propulsion solution.
The two primary investors in EcoMotors are Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates. Khosla Ventures, based in Menlo Park, California, offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm currently manages over $2 billion in committed capital, and is actively investing out of a $1.05 billion main fund that supports early- and late-stage companies and a $300 million seed fund to develop very early-stage experiments. The firm focuses on investments in next-generation energy projects, new materials, mobility, Internet and silicon technology. Vinod Khosla, who founded the firm in 2004, was founder and CEO of Sun Microsystems and formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins.