Vinod Khosla Invests in Efficient Diesel for Plug-In Hybrid Cars

EcoMotors aims to demo its first engine to potential customers by early 2009.

Published: 19-Jan-2008

Silicon Valley green tech investor Vinod Khosla caused a stir recently when he dissed plug-in electric hybrid cars as “toys” that would not contribute much in the way of fighting global warming. The blogs were buzzing from red-faced EV enthusiasts taking umbrage at Khosla, who has made big bets on biofuels and is never shy at expressing his opinions on all matters green.

But an investment Khosla Ventures announced this week in EcoMotors, a Detroit startup developing a high-efficiency diesel engines, shows that the legendary venture capitalist is more eclectic when it comes to electrics than his public pronouncements might make him seem.

EcoMotors founders Peter Hofbrauer and John Coletti, veterans of Volkswagen and Ford (F) respectively, are engineering engines that they hope will achieve 100 miles per gallon, run on gasoline, diesel or biofuels and be used to power — wait for it — plug-in hybrid electric cars.

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