EcoMotors, which develops engine technology and is backed by Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures, has announced it formed a partnership to build a $200 million factory in China.
FAW Jingye Engine Co. – a subsidiary of FAW Group Corp. – is set to invest more than $200 million in the planned plant, aiming to build 100,000 engines annually in the Shanxi province beginning with 2015. EcoMotors’ engine technology, which according to the US company is good at lowering emissions and improving fuel economy, will be developed, made and sold by the new joint venture, aimed at local consumers.
“For customers in China, it will ultimately provide access to affordable technology that will have a positive influence on the country’s transportation emissions,” Amit Soman, EcoMotor’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.
FAW Jingye is on its own a joint venture between state-backed FAW Jiefang Automotive Co. (the heavy truck unit of China FAW Group) and Beida New Energy Investment Fund Management Co., and is set to own 51% of the new company, with EcoMotors holding the rest of shares.
Bill Gates, 58, Microsoft’s co-founder and the world’s richest person, invested in EcoMotors back in 2010 and in 2012 the engine company raised an additional $32.5 million from investors, including Gates and Silicon Valley venture capital firm Khosla Ventures.