Westport delivers hydrogen-natural gas bus engine to SunLine Transit
For immediate release - June 9, 2003
Vancouver, B.C. - Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX: WPT) of Vancouver, BC announced today that it has developed a transit bus engine fueled by a blend of hydrogen and natural gas that will be delivered to SunLine Transit Agency of Thousand Palms, CA. This initiative enables commercial fleets to begin making the transition to the use of hydrogen in internal combustion engines.
"We believe these hydrogen-natural gas fuel blends used in internal combustion engines represent a unique near-term opportunity in commercial vehicle operations," said Westport's Chief Operating Officer Michael Gallagher." With this engine-fuel combination, there is the potential to enable our customers to cost-effectively introduce hydrogen into their fleet operation at the pace they choose."
Tests carried out in Vancouver on a Cummins Westport engine calibrated to run on a blend of 20% hydrogen and 80% natural gas indicate a dramatic reduction in oxides of nitrogen (NOx), the precursor to smog and ground-level ozone, of over 60% compared to the newest diesel engines, or over 80% cleaner than the average transit bus on the road today in North America. Additionally, each hydrogen-natural gas fueled bus can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 tonnes per year. The engine's original torque and fuel efficiency remain unchanged.
The tests were carried out by Westport as part of a project with SunLine Transit Agency of Thousand Palms, CA. Westport engineers upgraded the 230-horsepower spark-ignited natural gas engine to run on a blend of hydrogen and natural gas. The 5.9-liter B Gas Plus engine was delivered to SunLine last week and will be put into revenue service this summer.
To further demonstrate the technology, Westport also upgraded an 8.3-liter C Gas Plus engine installed in a 40-foot transit bus to run on a hydrogen-natural gas blend. The bus, the only transit bus in Canada running on a hydrogen-natural blended fuel, will be on display at the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Conference and Trade Show being held in Vancouver on June 9-11.
"We are very encouraged by the emissions results when the Westport engine is run on a blended fuel," said Tommy Edwards, Director of Maintenance for SunLine, who is attending the conference. "The results so far are proving that transit and other commercial vehicles running on hydrogen-natural gas blends are a clean, viable option for the transportation sector."
Westport Innovations Inc. is the leading developer of gaseous fuel engine technologies. It develops, manufacturers and sells a wide range of engines for commercial transportation applications such as trucks and buses through its joint venture with Cummins, Inc. Technology development alliances are in place with a number of other leading engine manufacturers, including MAN, Isuzu, and BMW.
Note: This document contains forward-looking statements about Westport's business, operations, technology development or to the environment in which it operates, which are based on Westport's estimates, forecasts and projections. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, or are beyond Westport's control. Consequently, readers should not place any undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. In addition, these forward-looking statements relate to the date on which they are made. Westport disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For futher information, please contact:
Moira Chicilo, Director, Corporate Communications
Email: [email protected]
Gayle Biondi, Director, Business Development
Phone: 760-343-3456 ext 112
Email: [email protected]