Software King of the World and sworn enemy of the mosquito, Sir William Gates III, is investing millions into a new car engine for developing nations.
According to AP, Gates is pouring his cash into an opposed piston cylinder engine which is the brilliant idea of Professor Peter Hofbauer, the former head of Volkswagen’s engine development.
Opposed pistons have been around for a while. The Commer truck had a similar system in the 1950s. A Napier three crankshaft opposed piston engine that powered trains. Don’t ask how we know that.
But Hofbauer’s idea is apparently a bit different and he claims it can cut emissions and costs. It also means the engine weighs half as much as a conventional one and uses half the fuel.
Gates and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla have invested more than $20 million in EcoMotors with the plan to use the design in cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles, marine, aerospace, agriculture and generators.
The news has amused countless computer users who have made the fairly obvious gag that the engine would be the last thing you would want if you encountered a blue screen of death on when you are going 120 mph down a German motorway.
In the language of Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson “if this car was a fruit it would be a Tigger Melon”. We have no idea what this means, but then again we never really understood Top Gear anyway.