Bill Gates has invested $23.5 million in EcoMotors International, a start-up firm currently working on its sixth-generation opposing cylinder engine.

EcoMotors International, a firm that is researching and developing unique opposed piston-opposed cylinder engine technology, or Opoc, has recently received a financial boost from Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and investor Vinod Khosla.

This investment not only provides EcoMotors with vital capital needed to continue the development of its unique engine technology but the engine maker also hopes that this will help to shed light on the company and its efforts to produce energy efficient engines.

Although EcoMotors is already on its sixth-generation Opoc engine, CEO Don Runkle says that some of the funding from Gates and Khosla may go towards its next-generation engine.

EcoMotors says that Opoc technology allows for 50 percent better fuel economy than a traditionally configured gasoline engine, while also utilizing 50 percent fewer parts. The net result is an engine that is less costly to produce and operate, making it a viable alternative for consumers looking to reduce fuel consumption without paying steep premiums typically associated with gas-electric hybrids or electric vehicles.

(Video explaining Opoc technology by former CEO)

EcoMotors was founded in 2008, and is currently based in Troy, Michigan. Should EcoMotors find a partner to utilize its engines in cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles, aerospace, marine, agricultural, auxiliary power units or generators, it plans to produce its engines in Michigan, citing the available financial incentives and proximity to industrial talent and resources.