Silicon Valley-based Pinnacle Engines plans to commercialise a new engine that it claims will enable significant reductions in fuel consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions without increasing vehicle cost.
Pinnacle also announced it has raised $13.5m (£8.3m) in venture funding from NEA, Bessemer Venture Partners and Infield Capital.
The engine is based on a four-stroke, spark-ignited (SI), opposed-piston, sleeve-valve architecture that uses the so-called Cleeves Cycle developed by founder and chief technical officer Monty Cleeves. It operates on the Otto cycle (constant volume combustion) or Diesel cycle (constant pressure combustion) depending on operating conditions.
Additional efficiency improvements will be realised through incorporation of variable valve timing, direct injection, turbocharging and Pinnacle’s own variable compression ratio mechanism.
The company is in the process of commercialising its technology through a joint development and licensing agreement with an Asian vehicle OEM. Production is slated to commence in the first quarter of 2013. Further developments, including plans for expansion into the global automotive market, will be revealed later this year.
’By 2016, more than 200 million combustion engines will be manufactured globally. Pinnacle technology could make them considerably more efficient while dramatically reducing the costs required to achieve those efficiencies,’ said Ron Hoge, Pinnacle’s chairman and chief executive officer.