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Westport, Ford forge hydrogen partnership

Vancouver, Canada-based Westport Innovations and Ford Motor Co. are joining forces on a project to develop and demonstrate an advanced direct injection fuel system for vehicles powered by engines operating on pure hydrogen.

Michael Gallagher, Westport's president & COO, added that the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) is also teaming up with Westport and Ford on what's expected to be a two-year program to develop hydrogen direct injection (H2DI) technology, with Canada's national government contributing $250,000 during the initial start-up process.

"Our H2DI technology has been in testing at Ford and has shown the potential to provide high power and engine torque with diesel-like efficiency and very low emissions," said Gallagher.

"Early data indicates the strong potential for a truly 'green' vehicle combining great efficiency characteristics with extremely low air pollutants and zero greenhouse gas emissions at the tailpipe," he added. "We believe this technology has the potential to be commercially available a lot sooner and more cost-effectively than other hydrogen automotive technologies."

Gallagher also noted that Westport's hydrogen partnership with Ford builds on several years of work between the two dating back to 1999 with natural gas engines. Ford began investigating the benefits of hydrogen direct injection for reciprocating engines with Westport in 2003, he said.

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