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Updated Sunday, Oct. 13 at 5:15 PM PST with fuel efficiency details from an Achates representative

Internal combustion fans, throw your hands in the air! …No one?

While hybrid and electric transport get the lion’s share of automotive hype nowadays (at least on technology blogs like this one), most of the world still relies on old-fashioned internal combustion engines to scoot around town. To keep innovating in that sector, engine developer Achates Power raised $35.2 million from investors including Sequoia Capital Partners and four other venture capital firms, the company announced Wednesday.

The San Diego-based company will use the newly raised capital to continue development and commercialization of its opposed-piston technology, which is intended to significantly improve fuel efficiency for gasoline powertrains. Compared to leading alternatives, Achates’ new engine improves gasoline fuel economy by 55 percent and diesel fuel economy by 21 percent, according to a company representative.

“The confidence that our investors have in our technology… further validates the work we’re doing and moves us even closer to production of the Achates Power opposed-piston, two-stroke engine,” said Achates CEO David Johnson in a statement.

The engine maker also has a contract with Austrian engineering firm AVL to develop a state-of-the-art combat engine for the U.S. Army.

Achates has amassed close to $90 million in investment since the company’s 2004 inception. It secured a $19 million round in 2009.

In addition to Sequoia Capital Partners, other Achates investors include RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners, InterWest Partners, and Triangle Peak Partners. All five were investors in Achates prior to this most recent funding round.

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