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Westport Innovations in Alt-Fuel Vehicle JV with China’s Largest Heavy-Duty Engine Manufacturer

Westport Innovations Inc.; Weichai Power Co. Ltd, China’s largest heavy-duty engine manufacturer; and Hong Kong Peterson (CNG) Equipment Limited have formed a joint venture—Weichai Westport Inc. (WWI)—to research, develop, design, manufacture, market, distribute and sell advanced, alternative fuel engines (plus relevant parts and kits) for use in automobiles, heavy-duty trucks, power generation and shipping applications.

Westport supplies a range of systems such as HPDI (earlier post) and H2DI (earlier post) enabling engines to operate on cleaner-burning gaseous fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen-natural gas blends (HCNG), hydrogen and biofuels such as landfill gas. Westport’s joint venture with Cummins Inc.—Cummins Westport Inc.—manufactures and sells low-emissions alternative fuel engines for commercial transportation applications such as trucks and buses.

BTIC Westport Inc., a Westport joint venture with Beijing Tianhai Industry Co. Ltd., manufactures and sells LNG fuel tanks for vehicles. (Earlier post.)

We are working with the largest heavy duty engine manufacturer in China where over 450,000 Heavy Duty trucks are introduced onto Chinese highways every year. Our High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) LNG fuel system technology provides a clean, low-emission solution to address a burgeoning market opportunity and the pressing need in China and Asia to reduce high emissions in major cities. With over 11% of the global heavy duty engine market share, Weichai is not only a strong partner for the Chinese market, but a greater partner in global expansion of low-emission, alternative fuel engines.

—David Demers, CEO at Westport Innovations

Adding to the scope of the joint venture, WWI will provide ancillary services including inventory, warehousing, training, applications engineering, sales promotion, technology consulting, installment, maintenance and after sale service.

China has a growing reserve of natural gas and is in various stages of reviewing and approving a number of new LNG import terminals to be constructed along its eastern shore. According to The National Clean Vehicle Productivity Promotion in China, there are more than 185,000 Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) in China and the fueling infrastructure required to fuel these vehicles is growing quickly.

Under the terms of the 30-year joint venture agreement, Westport's initial investment is expected to be approximately US$4.5 million (30 million RMB) equaling a 35%. Weichai Power and Hong Kong Peterson will hold 40% and 25% respectively. Westport Innovations and Weichai Power will appoint two members each to the board of directors and Hong Kong Peterson will appoint one. The Chairman of the board will rotate between Weichai Power and Westport after each three-year term, with Weichai power appointing the first board chair.

Weichai is the biggest powertrain manufacturer in China and owns the most integrated heavy-duty vehicle value chain, including the manufacturing of the engine, gearbox, axle, vehicle and other vehicle related parts. Weichai reports a 36% share of Chinese heavy-duty vehicle market and more than 80% share of the over 5-ton construction machinery market.



The Chinese are pretty smart. While we waste precious resources and drive up food prices worldwide with heavy subsidies for unsustainable corn ethanol, and continue to import $700 billion a year of petroleum from state sponsors of terrorism (e.g., Venezuela, and other OPEC producers), they are pushing ahead with natural gas vehicles to control both criteria and GHG emissions, and utilize an abundant domestic resource.


U.s.a and Canada should do the same because it's full
of natural gas here too. If you add up natural gas from city and industrial and farmers wastes then it's really plentiful and depolluting. We are really struggling under the big oil-goverment-car manufacturers cartel. It's a solution that could have happened in the 1960s-70s. Im ashame of my car , a vulgar machine outdated call a dodge neon 2005 manual 5 speeds without any options. This car has a big defect, it use gasoline instesd of natural gas or even better gazeous hydrogen.
If they had make it to accept compressed fuel it will have nearly cost the same to build. Im now looking to install a retrofit kit. A brand new natural gas-hydrogen carbon fibers tank put in the trunk with the associated plumbing and gazeous injectors and the necessary reprogrammation of the engine management computer. Especially with hydrogen you have to reprogram more carefully because hydrogen don't burn but explode so you have to alter the timing at top dead center. It's good to mix some gasoline or natural gas to hydrogen in this kind of engine to help displace humidity in the exhaust and the construction of the engine was intended for gasoline so the compression and overall engine design is originally intended for gasoline. If a manufacturer was designing an internal combustion engine right from the start for gazeous hydrogen it will be probably a turbo one with different exhaust systen a compression ratio with liquid water injection too.

The small homemade kits that some add to their existing
ice engine that convert some water in a small electrolyser that inject hydrogen in the intake manifold don't work properlly because you have to measure the quantity of petrol and hydrogen in real time then reajust the timing of the ignition and injectors to run the engine properlly. If tuner shops were competants, which is not, they can sell and install these kits and we can have 30% to 80% cut in fuel consumption but i checked the market carrefully this last 2 years and no tuner shop seem competant enouph to sell and install such kits. They just bolt a small electrolyser to inject some hydrogen without any re-programming and the results could be very bad.

import export business

As an aside, some interesting economic questions are raised by the fact that in some cases international production chains are managed almost entirely within a single multinational corporation (roughly 40 percent of U.S. merchandise trade is classified as intra-firm) and in others they are built through arm's-length transactions among unrelated firms. But the empirical evidence in both cases suggests that substantial productivity gains can often be achieved through the development of global supply chains.

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