The Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink) has selected Cummins Westport (CWI) C Gas Plus natural gas engines to power up to 95 new 40-foot, compressed natural gas (CNG) heavy-duty buses for the Greater Vancouver area.
The buses will be built by New Flyer Industries Inc. of Winnipeg and delivery of the base order, for 73 vehicles, will occur in mid-2006. This marks CWI’s first large commercial order in British Columbia, and positions CWI to showcase its latest technology at a time when TransLink is embarking on a major fleet expansion program.
|C Gas Plus w/Catalyst and Various Standards |
(grams per brake-horsepower-hour)
|Standard||Emission||Limit||C Gas Plus|
Optional Low NOx
The 8.3-liter lean-burn, spark-ignited C Gas Plus engines provide between 250–280 hp (187–209 kW)and develop 895–1,085 Nm of torque.
Increasingly, vendors of compressed natural gas vehicles are positioning CNG as a gateway to hydrogen. This one was of the lines of argument taken by the Enbridge-Cummins Westport-Clean Energy consortium in winning the delay of a major diesel-hybrid bus purchase in Ottawa. (Earlier post.)
That would fit nicely with British Columbia’s focus on a BC Hydrogen Highway (earlier post).
As an aside, the Ottawa city council staff who favored diesel-hybrids disputed—for a number of reasons—the premise that CNG buses smooth the pathway to hydrogen. However, they acknowledged that a competition between a diesel-hybrid and a CNG-hybrid bus would be much closer.
The consortium—Enbridge, Cummins Westport and Clean Energy—advised that CNG hybrids are in the early stages of testing, and are something that they would like to move forward with when feasible, perhaps in 2007.