EcoMotors International

Case Solution

John D. Macomber, Hermes Alvarez
Harvard Business School ()

EcoMotors, partially funded by Khosla Ventures, has to decide how to launch new internal combustion engine technology for automotive and industrial use. The OPOC engine has opposing pistons and is a two-stroke engine compared to a more traditional 6, 8, or 12-cylinder in-line or V-geared gasoline or diesel engine. A two-stroke engine is cheaper to build and has higher horsepower than a four-stroke engine, but it has been more polluting in the past. In the United States today, two-stroke engines are used primarily in lawn mowers and chainsaws, and four-stroke engines are leaders in automobiles, boats, and generators. Should the company be an invention company that licenses its technology? engine designer and manufacturer that sells to automotive, marine, and original equipment manufacturers; Or a fully integrated energy and transportation solution? How is the value chain currently organized, what are the barriers to going to market, and how can this company prosper with this innovation that is cleaner and cheaper than the incumbent but difficult to explain and implement?

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