ATI Graduate Yan Engines Raises $4M

The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), part of the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin (UT), today congratulates Yan Engines on its company momentum. Yan Engines, recently graduated from ATI, focuses on delivering fuel-efficient technologies for power generation and transportation through its engine fuel economy innovation. Since inception, the company has closed $4 million funding, developed a car engine that is 80% more fuel efficient, and signed a contract with the US military to develop a similar, custom engine for trucks in the field.

Yan Engines recently graduated from ATI’s Clean Energy Incubator (CEI), founded in 2001 and one of the industry’s longest established energy and clean technology incubators in the US. Yan Engines established headquarters in Austin, because of the work being done at the University of Texas, which does more energy research than any other University in the world. While Yan Engines got its US start at ATI, even in graduation, it continues working closely with Prof. Ronald Matthews from UT’s Engines Research Laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department.

“At ATI, we look for major market disruptors, and Yan Engines fit that criterion and then some,” said Mitch Jacobson, co-director, ATI Clean Energy Incubator. “By proving out that they could make a standard commercial engine 80% more fuel efficient, the future technology applications are literally endless. We are excited to continue to support Yan in its efforts to improve fuel efficiency of military fleets, shipping, power generation, and infinite other potentials.”

In 2008, Yan Engines completed its testing of its first innovation, a Honda engine prototype that was 80% more fuel efficient (80% better MPG) and 200% more torque than the baseline engine. This became Yan Engine’s Differential Stroke Cycle Engine, or D-Cycle Engine which requires only component level changes to existing 4-stroke engines to produce substantial fuel efficiency and performance improvements. The D-Cycle technology can be retrofit into existing engines, allowing a relatively low-cost and rapid adoption of the technology across a broad range of vehicles.

This first engine was built in Taiwan, but in Fall 2011, Yan Engines moved its operations to Austin and joined ATI’s Clean Energy Incubator, to be aligned with the University of Texas for development and to build out its US operations, including delivering on a contract with the United States Marine Corp. Yan Engines is currently designing and building a similarly fuel efficient engine, but for heavy-duty diesel military engines. This work is nearing build completion, with estimates of 50%+ better fuel efficiency and 110% more torque. With fully burdened fuel costing an estimated $400 per gallon for operational vehicles in Afghanistan, the cost saving potentials are enormous. The D-Cycle military engine will move to EPA and ISO certified testing, before pilot and deployment by the US military trucks in the field.

Yan Engines also recently closed its Series A round of $2 million in funding, taking its total funding through investors and contracts to $4 million. The $2 million infusion came from New Energy Holdings, a European Private Equity firm, who is working with Yan Engines on commercial project exploration especially around engine fuel efficiency in shipping where $6 billion in fuel is spent each year by Maersk alone. Yan will also be working to explore fuel economy in power generation engines, especially in countries in Asia where power is produced by diesel generators in smaller municipalities that are not attached to power grids.

“We are revolutionizing the internal combustion engine for more fuel-efficient technologies for power generation and transportation,” said Yan Engines founder and inventor, Dr. MJ Yan, who holds a PhD from Princeton University in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and brings 30 years experience in power generation to Yan Engines. “Our investors, partners and customers have been impressed by our technology to retrofit current engines, proving fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. We are proud our innovations will positively impacting the energy landscape, environment, and the economy.”

About Bryan Menell

Bryan is the Managing Editor for AustinStartup and the CEO of Mahana. He is a co-founder of Capital Factory, an investor and advisor, and runs the popular Austin Tech Happy Hour with his wife.

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