Transonic Combustion CEO Brian Ahlborn goal is to have Transonic go into business as a supplier of fuel systems to the auto industry by the 2014-15 time-frame. Given the three to five year lead times required to bring a product to market in this industry, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for an automaker to commit to a program with Transonic. Ahlborn is well aware of the difficulty of meeting his target, but he believes the internal combustion engine, “is a long-term product for many decades still to come” and says, “we believe there is a quantum leap breakthrough in what we’re doing” and that, “there will be a lot going on commercially next year (2011).
Transonic has been able to attract a substantial amount of venture funding from Vinod Khosla and, in May of this year, the company enticed retired General Motors executives Bob Lutz and Don Runkle to join its board of directors. Runkle’s presence is particularly interesting since he also currently serves as the CEO of Ecomotors. There’s been no public discussion of combining supercritical fluid injection with the Ecomotors OPOC architecture, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason it couldn’t be done.
Ecomotors Opposed-Piston Opposed-Cylinder Engine could make class 8 trucks 45% more fuel efficient. Ecomotors has a goal to demonstrate, in 2010, the automobile industry’s first 5-passenger car capable of 100 mpg on the EPA highway cycle.
Transonic has built and tested between 500 and 1,000 injectors from which they have collected data for the modeling process. Ultimately, using the simulation models should cut the lead time for new product applications from two or three years down to just six months.