Westport Innovations (Toronto: WPT; NASDAQ:WPRT) is bringing its high pressure direct injection technology to China via Weichai Westport. The joint venture is to market a 12-liter Weichai Power engine, the WP12, modified to run mostly on natural gas using Westport HDPI technology.
The WP12HPDI Landking engine was announced during the China National People’s Congress at the the Beijing Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
The Weichai Westport joint venture dates from 2008 (F&F, July 21, 2008). It currently markets 6.8-, 7.1-, 9.7, and 11.6-liter spark-ignition natural gas engines.
The HDPI engine fills a gap in the natural gas engine market for heavy duty trucks in China, Westport says. It is being tested by the Shaanxi Automobile Group. The technology is similar to that used for 15-liter engines in the U.S. market, offered as part of the Westport HD engine and fuel system for heavy duty vehicles.
The 12-liter Weichai Westport HPDI engine delivers the same power and torque as its diesel counterpart: 480 horsepower at 2100 rpm, with maximum torque of 1970N.m/1200 ~ 1500rpm). “The engine’s power and torque is 20% and 20-25% higher than that of the spark ignition natural gas engines respectively,” the announcement states. “Hence, it solves the problem of large plateau power loss for gas engines.”
According to Weichai Power reports, as cited by Westport, Weichai holds approximately 40% of the heavy duty truck engine market for trucks greater than 14 tons. The firm sold more than 200,000 heavy-duty engines for the six months ended June 30, 2011. In 2010, heavy duty truck sales in China exceeded 1 million units.
‘Enormous Potential Fuel Savings’
“Weichai Power is committed to an economic and environmental transportation solution to address China’s environmental protection policy,” Tan Xuguang, chairman of Weichai Power, says in the Westport release. “Our technological research and development has been at the forefront of China’s internal combustion engine industry. By relying on its powerful production and technological capabilities, it has been engaging in extensive development with renowned international companies, like Westport, in the field of natural gas engines.”
Citing high diesel prices, “There are enormous potential fuel savings to be made if Chinese fleets adopt natural gas technology for transportation,” said Westport Innovations CEO David Demers. “The successful progress of the Weichai Westport HPDI engine marks a historic shift in technology and engine development in China.”
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