Cummins Westport joins fuel blend project

Alternative fuel truck engine manufacturer Cummins Westport has joined a project to develop and test a bus engine powered by a hydrogen-natural gas fuel blend.

Cummins Westport is part of a team led by SunLine Services Group that has received a $476,000 grant to test a engine powered by Hythane, a blend of 20% hydrogen and 80% natural gas.

SunLine said it would use a Cummins Westport 5.9-liter B Gas Plus 230-hp engine, introduced in October 2002, for this blended fuel program. Cummins Westport has begun testing the B Gas Plus to develop a calibration for operation on Hythane. The engine should be ready by April, and SunLine expects to test it on the road for three months, equivalent to 24,000 miles of operation.

SunLine Services Group is part of SunLine Transit Agency of Thousand Palms CA, which operates 167 buses in the Coachella Valley, with 67 powered by natural gas. The United States Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and California's South Coast Air Quality Management District are each providing $238,000 for the project. Cummins Westport said it would receive 46% of that financing.

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