Westport Innovations Inc., natural gas engine developer, has provided an update of operations as part of its third quarter report ended September 30, 2012. “The overall market for natural gas transportation is developing with more infrastructure in place by the end of this year and key product launches for the industry, such as the Cummins Westport ISX12 G, edging closer,” said David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovations Inc. “We expect to launch a portfolio of new products ranging from automotive and trucking to off-road applications over the next few quarters from a broad variety of OEMs.”
Recent Westport announcements, including an agreement with Tata Motors to develop a natural gas engine for light- and medium-duty trucks and buses, “prove the thesis that virtually all segments of the transportation market will see significant opportunity for natural gas this decade,” continued Demers.
Some of the highlights follow:
- UPS has continued its commitment to building its natural gas powered fleet with an order for 21 Kenworth T800 LNG heavy-duty trucks. The T800s, powered by Westport HD, make UPS one of the largest fleet owners of LNG trucks in North America.
- Westport has delivered on large transit bus engine orders for China, Peru and Venezuela.
- During the quarter there were several new CWI ISL G-powered fleets put into service, including new refuse truck fleets in Pomona, CA, and Winnipeg, MB, and new transit bus fleets in Long Beach, CA, and Guadalajara, Mexico.
- CWI is continuing the development of the ISX12 G, a 12 litre heavy-duty natural gas engine for regional haul, vocational and refuse applications, which will commence limited production in early 2013 at Cummins’ Jamestown, New York engine plant. CWI is working with OEM launch partners including Freightliner, Peterbilt, Kenworth, Volvo and Autocar, all of whom are participating in the field trials.
- FortisBC, the gas distribution utility in British Columbia, Canada designed an incentive funding program to assist qualified medium and heavy-duty fleet owners to purchase natural gas vehicles in British Columbia and recently has notified successful applicants of their preliminary awards. The conditionally awarded recipients consist of 16 on-road-transportation fleets for 236 compressed natural gas (CNG) and 165 LNG vehicles. The final award details will be made public by FortisBC, which is expected to take place by the end of 2012 with vehicles being delivered in 2013.
According to Clean Energy Fuels’ America’s Natural Gas Highway deployment plan, 48 LNG stations have been built to date and Clean Energy expects to be on track to complete its goal of approximately 70 stations by year end. As announced during its quarterly conference call, Clean Energy has 21 LNG stations under construction, 12 in various stages in entitlement, design, and permitting process, and 64 stations in process for next year. By the end of 2014, Westport is confident that infrastructure will likely not be a material barrier to any fleet in the U.S. that wants to move to natural gas.
As announced at the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association Transportation Summit in October, Irving Oil plans to open five LNG stations in Eastern Canada commencing in late 2013. Irving Oil is planning to make LNG available at five of its existing fuelling stations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec.
In August, a Shaanxi truck powered by the Weichai Westport 12L HPDI engine conquered 4,767 meter (or 15,640 feet) altitude testing for the first time on China’s Kunlun Mountain. This marked a significant milestone as it was the highest altitude that natural gas trucks had ever reached in China, proving HPDI’s comparable performance to diesel. The Weichai Westport HPDI engine will be undergoing cold testing through the winter months to prepare for commercial launch in 2013.
(This article compiled using information from a Westport Innovations, Inc. press release)