Volvo Is to Offer Trucks with the ‘MethaneDiesel Euro VI’ Engine
To Be Nearly as Efficient as Diesel with 15% Less GHG Emissions,
‘Westport Is Now a Tier 1 Supplier’ to Heavy Vehicle Manufacturers
Watch for the official launch of the second iteration of Westport’s high pressure direct injection technology – designed allow heavy duty diesel engines to run primarily on natural gas while preserving the efficient compression ignition cycle – late this year by Volvo Trucks in Europe.
The HPDI 2.0 launch will mark “the culmination of many years of work,” Westport CEO Nancy Gougarty said in the company’s earnings release last month, listing commercialization of the technology as a key company goal for 2017.
(Westport says it made $3.6 million in capital expenditures during the fourth quarter of 2016, “mainly related” to HPDI 2.0.)
‘First Production Parts Will Ship This Year’
“The technology will be available on our FH and FM series,” says a spokesman for Volvo Trucks in Sweden. Both are available with Volvo’s 12.8-liter D13K engine. The “Volvo MethaneDiesel Euro VI” engine, the OEM says, has about 15% better energy efficiency than a dedicated-natural gas, spark-ignition powerplant.
“The first production parts will ship this year,” says Westport business development and product management VP Brad Douville. The first HPDI 2.0 system will be for liquefied natural gas-fueled trucks.
Unlike the initial HPDI product available only with the Cummins ISX-based 15-liter engine for heavy duty trucks, the new system is aimed at a wider range of engines. Westport Innovations said in announcing HPDI 2.0 in late 2013 that it was “working with seven OEM applications with engine sizes ranging from trucks to trains” (F&F, December 10, 2013).
A New Business Model
Westport has changed its “business model and path-to-market for HPDI,” Douville says. “For HPDI 1.0,” he explains, “Westport developed and sold the 15-liter Westport HD engine directly to vehicle OEMs such as Kenworth and Peterbilt.
“For HPDI 2.0,” he says, “Westport is now a Tier 1 supplier as provider of technology, supplier of the HPDI system and its related components, with associated development services to engine and vehicle OEMs.” The system includes a new, common-rail natural gas-diesel injector, LNG tank with proprietary, intelligent, single-stage, hydraulically driven slow reciprocating internal pump, proprietary on-engine gas conditioning module, integrated gas module, and re-designed electronic controls and software.
Westport says too that a “completely reorganized supply chain allows for reduced production costs and increased scalability for manufacturing alongside existing diesel-based components for multiple OEMs.”
“The aim of the HPDI 1.0 product,” Douville told F&F, “was to develop the brand-new market for HD LNG trucks and provide demonstrable evidence that HPDI offers a ‘no-compromise’ performance value proposition with compelling fuel savings and GHG reductions (18-20% or 80% or more with RNG).”
Approximately 1,200 HPDI 1.0 systems were placed, beginning in 2006 (F&F, August 30, 2016).
‘Multiple Global OEM Platforms’
“The shift to Tier 1 supplier for HPDI 2.0 allows us to scale up and deploy the HPDI technology across multiple global OEM platforms while taking advantage of their expansive networks and broad reach,” Douville says.
The Westport HPDI 2.0 system “features further improvements to maximize the [GHG/greenhouse gas] benefits of natural gas, such as the capture of dynamic venting,” the company said in January.
“It is the only natural gas engine technology that can achieve diesel engine efficiency within 1% with inherently low engine-out un-burnt methane emissions.”
‘CNG Is in the Works’
“So far the design is for LNG,” Douville says. “CNG is in the works.”
The Westport-Volvo collaboration on HDPI 2.0 has not been formally announced.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels interview and follow-up