Westport receives Canadian grant for gas-engine testing

Westport Innovations Inc, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has received a Canadian government grant of $1 million ($635,042 US) to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of operating heavy-duty trucks fueled by its proprietary natural gas engine technology. The funding will support a demonstration of heavy-duty trucks powered by Cummins Westport's low- emissions ISXG engine operating along Canadian Highway 401, the main artery linking Ontario and Quebec.

"The trucking industry in Canada and around the world is undergoing profound change as private and government fleets, engine manufacturers, and truck makers adjust to ever more stringent emissions regulations," said David Demers, Westport president and chief executive officer. "Until recently, no technology existed that linked the cleanliness and economics of natural gas with the efficiency and performance of a diesel. Westport Cycle technology promises to deliver drastically reduced emissions with no loss in engine performance or driveability."

The 15-liter ISXG, with up to 500 horsepower, will be commercially available early in 2004. The engine is being developed by Cummins Westport, a joint venture between Cummins Inc of Columbus IN and Westport. It uses a proprietary Westport-Cycle technology involving the high-pressure direct injection of natural gas into a diesel engine platform. The ISXG matches the performance and efficiency of the Cummins ISX diesel engine, but with significantly lower emissions of particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen and greenhouse gases, according to Westport information.

Seventeen ISXG engines are currently being field-tested in North America, 14 by Norcal Waste Systems, a California refuse hauler. They have successfully completed more than 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles).

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