12 May 2000

Vancouver, BC-based Westport Innovations announced that it has begun testing its first heavy-duty truck equipped with the company's patented fuel injectors and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel storage system. The tests will determine fuel economy and durability of fuel system components under real-world conditions. Westport expects that results will demonstrate that its technology delivers a strong combination of emissions, performance, range, reliability and load capacity.

Westport technology is intended to retain all of the performance and fuel economy of diesel engines while lowering emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). By meeting its goal, Westport anticipates it will be in a position to capture a large share of the market for the 250,000 heavy-duty trucks sold annually in North America.

The prototype truck consists of a new Kenworth T800 truck chassis equipped with a new Cummins ISX 400 horsepower diesel engine and the prototype Westport fuel injectors and fuel storage system. The truck and weight configuration selected by Westport represents the most popular combination for big North American highway rigs: a gross combined vehicle weight of approximately 82,000 pounds, including the truck, a semi-trailer up to 53-feet long, and the cargo.

The Westport high pressure direct injection (HPDI) fuel system allows a diesel engine to operate almost exclusively on natural gas, which is cleaner and usually less expensive than oil-based diesel fuel. The natural gas is ignited in the engine cylinder by a separate, prior injection of a small amount of diesel fuel.

Source: Westport Innovations