Weichai Westport Inc., the joint venture between Westport Innovations and Weichai Power, announced the introduction of China’s first natural gas engine featuring Westport high pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology.
Based on the Weichai Power WP12 engine platform, the 12-liter engine features Westport HPDI technology which maintains the power and performance of the base diesel engine, but allows the replacement of up to 95% of diesel fuel with cleaner burning, less expensive natural gas.
The Weichai Westport HPDI engine is currently undergoing road testing with a select OEM customer, Shaanxi Automobile Group. The low cost of natural gas, combined with the large amount of domestic reserves, make it an attractive transportation fuel source for China.
Since the joint venture was established in 2008, Weichai Westport has focused on developing natural gas engine technology for heavy-duty vehicles and city buses. Currently in China, spark ignited natural gas engines comprise the majority of alternative fuel sales.
The Weichai Westport HPDI engine delivers the same power and torque as that of the original diesel engine, and identical performance as that of the diesel engine. (WP12HPDI Landking engine’s rated power is at 480hp/2100rpm, with maximum torque of 1970N·m/1200 ~ 1500rpm) The engine’s power and torque is 20% and 20-25% higher than that of the spark ignition natural gas engines respectively. Hence, it addresses the problem of large plateau power loss for gas engines.
According to the Weichai Power’s most recent Annual Report, Weichai holds approximately 40% of the heavy duty truck engine market for trucks over 14 tonnes. According to Weichai’s August 2011 Interim Report, it sold more than 200,000 heavy-duty engines for the six months ended June 30, 2011. In 2010, heavy duty truck sales in China exceeded 1 million units, according to the Weichai Power August 2011 Interim Report.