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Westport Fuel Systems successfully completes initial startup and testing on hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine; H2-HPDI

Westport Fuel Systems announced the successful startup and initial trials of a heavy-duty internal combustion engine running on hydrogen fuel, using its patented and proprietary High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) 2.0 System. (Earlier post.)

We believe H2-HPDI could be extremely compelling, with near-zero greenhouse gas emissions and much lower cost than fuel cell vehicles or battery electric vehicles, particularly for heavy-duty trucking and other high-load applications like mining, marine and rail that have come to rely on the efficiency, power, durability and reliability of diesel engines.

While there is more work to be done, our initial test results are encouraging and a testament to our team’s ongoing commitment to innovation. This demonstrates the inherent versatility of our HPDI system to utilize a range of gaseous fuels and provide a long-term carbon-reduction strategy. We are confident there is a larger opportunity to leverage our extensive expertise with gaseous fuel combustion and engine management systems.

—David Johnson, CEO of Westport Fuel Systems

We were able to commence running at full torque and at rated power within hours of successfully starting the first ever HPDI engine operating on hydrogen. Preliminary test results validate our combustion simulations, demonstrating the potential for hydrogen combustion and efficiency comparable to fuel cells in heavy-duty applications.

The potential for OEMs and others to avoid new and significant investments that would be required to develop and manufacture fuel cells, electric motors and batteries that are associated with heavy-duty long haul fuel cell electric vehicle product proposals, while leveraging established supply chains, manufacturing investment and infrastructure and economies of scale, is incredibly exciting.

—,” said Scott Baker, Westport Fuel Systems’ Vice President of Engineering

Development is ongoing, with technical results to be reviewed at the upcoming Vienna Motor Symposium, which takes place 29-30 April 2021.




I am not a friend to arguments which go: 'Ultimately, we will...' and so try to make 'great leap forward' stuff, at the expense of what is practical and economic at present.

Engineering proposals should be evaluated on their own merits, and with a firm eye on cost efficiency.


ICEs are not efficient devices; however, they could be quite usefully as clean hydrogen machines in unique applications, ,i.e., jet airliners and sea ships. Using them in long-haul ground transportation applications is at best an interim solution.

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