Westport Innovations Inc., engineering the world's most advanced natural gas engines and vehicles, today unveiled its next generation of high pressure direct injection technology platform dubbed "Westport HPDI 2.0." This new generation of the natural gas technology will provide global vehicle and engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with a vertically integrated natural gas solution with breakthrough price, performance, and fuel economy. Developed to the most rigorous OEM quality standards, Westport HPDI 2.0 system components will be manufactured in state-of-the-art, high-quality facilities, offer ready integration into OEM operations globally, and provide an attractive way to reach scalable volume deliveries as natural gas markets mature and grow.
"Where performance, emissions and efficiency matter, HPDI 2.0 offers benefits that will be irresistible to fleet customers shifting to natural gas in their operations," said David Demers, CEO of Westport. "As the potential for natural gas is now apparent in all global vehicle and off-road markets, HPDI 2.0 will allow OEMs to introduce high performance, fully integrated products that match state of the art diesel performance, but can be produced without expensive and challenging investments in facilities, product development, and testing."
Westport is now working with seven OEM applications with engine sizes ranging from trucks to trains at various stages of development with the goal of vertically integrated Westport HPDI 2.0 OEM product lines.
Background on Westport HPDI
Westport HPDI 2.0 is the only natural gas technology capable of delivering performance and fuel economy equivalent to that of current high performance diesel-fueled engines, but with diesel substitution of over 90 percent. This combination of high performance and high efficiency is critical for heavy-duty engines in demanding commercial applications.
Diesel engines have dominated commercial vehicle and heavy-duty off-road applications for decades, despite higher initial costs for diesel engines compared to gasoline engines, and the recent volatility and higher prices for diesel fuel. Energy efficiency, engine durability, high torque, low maintenance, and industry familiarity with the diesel engine mean that overall life-cycle cost of operation have kept the engine a mainstay in commercial vehicles.
However, Westport HPDI will allow diesel customers to switch to natural gas, which is much cheaper than diesel fuel in most parts of the world, without sacrificing performance or energy efficiency. Engines incorporating Westport HPDI 2.0 technology are engineered to be as similar to diesel-fueled versions as possible, minimizing capital investment and operational changes in the field.
Higher energy efficiency simply means less fuel burned, resulting in more money that the operator can save, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The compression ratio of an engine with Westport HPDI is the same as the diesel engine on which it is based, which results in fewer changes to engine components and preservation of the fuel economy benefits associated with high compression.
Westport's proprietary, patented HPDI technology utilizes the same Diesel thermodynamic cycle used by diesel fuel. This Diesel cycle is inherently more efficient than the Otto thermodynamic cycle used by spark ignited (SI) gasoline and natural gas engines. Aside from the increase in efficiency, typical Diesel cycle engines—including engines with Westport HPDI—do not use a throttle to control the air-fuel ratio, as the gas directly injected into the combustion chamber at the end of the compression stroke can burn over a wide range of air fuel ratios. Current SI engines have to use a throttle to meter the air to control the air/fuel mixture resulting in more constricted air flow into the engine and reduced fuel efficiency.
Company has earned 40 percent market share of the commercial truck natural gas market.