Westport Innovations Inc. and GAZ Group, the leader of the Russian commercial vehicles market, signed a multi-year development and supply agreement for a new range of GAZ Group medium-duty compressed natural gas (CNG) commercial vehicles. Westport’s new WP580 Engine Management System will be applied to GAZ’s YaMZ-530 4.4L and 6.6L diesel engines and will incorporate Westport proprietary components and technology. The first products will be introduced in commercial production in 2014.
The YaMZ-530 Euro-4 medium-duty in-line diesel engines family includes 4- and 6-cylinder base models with power range of 120-190 hp and 240-312 hp respectively. Euro-4 is achieved through use of an EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system and catalytic converter with replaceable filter.
The WP580 Engine Management System, being introduced in Russia for the first time, is a highly configurable system that has been specifically developed for spark-ignited, dedicated natural gas engine applications and can be integrated with a wide range of proprietary Westport fuel system components for flexible vehicle design and production.
Its advanced combustion control technology can optimize the engine for fuel economy while meeting existing and future emissions and onboard diagnostic requirements.
Recently, the Russian government has supported the transition to using natural gas as a transportation fuel. A 2012 Global Strategic Business Report projects that the number of natural gas vehicles in Russia will almost double by 2018.
According to various media articles, the Russian government is proposing incentives for up to 50% of road transport, public transport and road utility fleets to switch to natural gas. The Russian Ministry of Energy further recommended to reduce the tax rates for vehicles that use natural gas as a motor fuel, from 1 January 2014 through to 2020.
GAZ Group is the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in Russia. GAZ Group produces light and medium-duty commercial vehicles, buses, heavy-duty trucks, passenger cars, power trains and automotive components at its 13 plants located in 8 regions of Russia. GAZ Group leads the Russian commercial vehicles market, with 50% of the LCV segment and 65% of the bus segment.