I've just begun looking at this one. I can't believe there is so little mention on SI and this thread with no responses. Hmmm.
I started looking at this when I noticed that our garbage hauler uses NG trucks (veolia). Here is a comment by Westport CEO: earlier this year.
“Strong demand from the North American refuse truck market and Westport’s global Light-Duty (LD) automotive business helped grow revenue for the quarter. “As more mature Westport lines of business demonstrate strong growth and bottom line financial performance, we are making strategic investments to maintain Westport’s technology leadership and expand our coverage across the full range of worldwide markets for engines.
“The market for natural gas heavy-duty trucks saw transformative investments announced recently by Encana, Chesapeake Energy and Clean Energy Fuels that will see rapid development of fueling corridors as well as their own adoption of natural gas as a vital energy source in their operations and supply chain.”
I was wondering about the range of NG trucks as compared to diesel. From the Freightliner natural gas truck info page (they use the Cummins Westport ISL G 8.9 litter engine) it appears their trucks are the smaller or shorter range type, for regional use, not the long distance highway transport trucks. I'm guessing this is because the first NG refuelling stations will be concentrated in bigger cities so that makes the regional trucks the best market initially.
Also I was wondering if maybe there is a problem with long distance trucking, in that the size of the fuel tank(s) would be too big for NG trucks. Anyone have insight about this?
Volvo Trucks Unveils 13 Liter Natural Gas Engine for North American Market with Westport™ HPDI Technology
Press Release: Westport Innovations Inc. – 21 minutes ago
VANCOUVER, May 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Westport Innovations Inc. ( WPT.TO) ( WPRT), the global leader in natural gas engines, today announced that Volvo Trucks today unveiled its plans to launch a 13 liter heavy-duty natural gas engine featuring Westport™ high pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology. The product is scheduled to launch for the North American market in 2014.
"The partnership with the Volvo Group is an important product development program and will help meet the increasing demand for natural gas engines and vehicles in the heavy-duty market." said David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovations.
As previously disclosed in a press release dated February 27, 2012, under the terms of the agreement, each partner will contribute significant resources and pay for its own people and costs of the program. Westport will lead the program. When the product is launched, Westport will supply its HD system components for an agreed upon amount per engine, comparable to other such arrangements previously announced.
About Westport Innovations Inc. Westport Innovations Inc. is a leading global supplier of proprietary solutions that allow engines to operate on clean-burning fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, and renewable natural gas (RNG) fuels such as landfill gas and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Westport technology offers advanced LNG fueling systems with direct injection natural gas engine technology for heavy-duty vehicles such as highway trucks and off-road applications such as mining and rail. Westport's joint venture with Cummins Inc., Cummins Westport Inc. designs, engineers and markets spark-ignited natural gas engines for North American transportation applications such as trucks and buses. Westport LD division is one of the global leaders for natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fuel in passenger cars, light-duty trucks and industrial applications such as forklifts. To learn more about our business, visit our website or subscribe to our RSS feed at www.westport.com, or follow us on Twitter @WestportDotCom.
Westport Announces Second Agreement with General Motors for Advanced Engineering Development for Light-Duty Vehicles 8:02a ET June 27, 2012 (Benzinga)
Westport Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ: WPRT), the global leader in natural gas engines, today announced that it has entered into an additional agreement with General Motors (NYSE: GM) for a second advanced technology development program. Westport and GM are now developing two different combustion, controls and emissions approaches to natural gas engines, with the first cooperative technology project being announced in June 2011.
Both GM and Westport will continue to bring their extensive expertise to develop natural gas engine controls, emissions and performance strategies. This new program will optimize advanced natural gas technologies and applications for maximum CO2 reduction and fuel efficiency in light-duty vehicles.