Canada grants $1 million to Westport to demonstrate engine technology

Westport Innovations Inc has received a grant of $1 million (Canadian) from Canada's federal government to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of operating heavy-duty trucks fueled by its proprietary natural gas engine technology.

The funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) will support a demonstration of heavy-duty trucks powered by Cummins Westport's low-emissions ISXG engine operating along Highway 401, the main artery linking Ontario and Quebec. An estimated 40,000 heavy-duty vehicles use the highway daily, making it the busiest and dirtiest thoroughfare in Canada.

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 lower emissions of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and greenhouse gases.

Seventeen ISXG engines are 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).

SDTC was created by the federal government as a not-for-profit organization to promote environmental technologies and practices. Westport is one of eight recipients of the organization's first round of financing.

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