Europe or Perhaps China to Be First, and It Won’t be the Cummins ISX:
Goal Is a Product Preserving Diesel Performance with Minimal Changes
Westport Fuel Systems expects to commercialize its “HPDI 2.0” high pressure direct injection technology as a fuel system package for OEMs in Europe and/or China in summer 2017.
HPDI technology allows trucks with heavy duty diesel engines to run primarily on liquefied natural gas. Westport placed upwards of 1,200 first-generation systems on Paccar (Kenworth and Peterbilt) trucks with 15-liter Cummins ISX engines, beginning in 2006.
HPDI 2.0 will be placed via other engine manufacturers, says Jim Arthurs, executive VP for medium and heavy-duty truck strategies at Westport. “We’re not working with Cummins,” he says, but with several different truck and/or engine OEMs.
The plan is to provide fuel system componentry – primarily injectors and onboard natural gas fuel storage and engine delivery hardware – to be factory-installed. It’s a far cheaper option than the Westport-installed first-generation systems.
“It was quite expensive, the way that it was done,” Arthurs says. “The economics didn’t really hang together.”
Key to GHG Reduction Compliance
HPDI 2.0 will help manufacturers meet their greenhouse gas reduction requirements.
“HPDI 2.0 has been proven to deliver diesel-like performance and fuel efficiency while providing a reduction in GHG emissions of 18-20% compared to current diesel engines,” Westport says.
And, citing a source in Germany, Westport said this month that “European original equipment manufacturers will not be able to avoid implementing HPDI technology in order to fulfill GHG limit values.” Europe, says Arthurs, is a “priority.”
Environmental and Economic Benefits
“As GHG rules tighten, natural gas fueled vehicles may cost less than compliant conventional fuel vehicles, creating a compelling economic argument even without factoring in fuel savings,” Arthurs says in last week’s Westport GHG release.
“Fleet owners can focus on the environmental benefits of natural gas vehicles now and reap the economic benefits in the future,” he said.
LNG-Only to Start
The 2.0 product – a “true OEM version of HPDI” – will debut on engines in the 10- to 15-liter range, Arthurs says. “As launched it will be LNG-only,” he told F&F, explaining that vaporizing pressurized LNG to the 3,500-plus PSI needed for engine operation is far cheaper than boosting the pressure of CNG fuel onboard the vehicle. Operators committed to CNG fuel may be offered a CNG-capable HPDI 2.0 option in the future.
Westport’s key HPDI 2.0 development drivers are performance and simplicity. “We’re trying to make the engine perform exactly as it did as a diesel,” Arthurs says. And, “we are trying to change as little as we can on the engine and on the truck.”
The Pump Has Made Major Strides’
Westport is perfecting “Phase 3” injectors for HPDI 2.0, as well as a proprietary pump that will be submerged in the onboard LNG fuel tank. “The pump has made major strides,” he says, since the first HPDI trucks were deployed ten years ago.
Finally, as part of the ramp-up to launch, “We’re starting trials with customers,” Arthurs said yesterday.
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Source: Westport Fuel System and Fleets & Fuels interview follow-up