Bill Gates-backed EcoMotors forms joint venture with FAW Jingye

EcoMotors Inc, backed by Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures, formed a partnership with FAW Jingye Engine Co that will build a $200 million plant in China’s Shanxi province.

The joint venture will develop, make and sell EcoMotors’ engine technology, which the Allen Park, Michigan-based company says improves fuel economy and lowers greenhouse-gas emissions. FAW Jingye will invest more than $200 million in the factory, which will make 100,000 engines annually from 2015, according to an e-mailed statement.

China’s leadership has said it will “declare war” on pollution and is working to shut coal furnaces and phase out 6 million vehicles that don’t meet environmental standards. Beijing and Shanghai have been covered in smog as pollution levels there exceeded levels considered safe by the World Health Organisation.

“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 the statement.

FAW Jingye will hold 51 per cent of the joint venture, with EcoMotors owning the rest. FAW Jingye is a joint venture between state-backed FAW Jiefang Automotive Co and Beida New Energy Investment Fund Management Co, according to the statement.

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