Westport, Ford join for hydrogen engine development

VANCOUVER — Alternative energy developer Westport Innovations of Vancouver has teamed up with Ford Motor Company today to produce an advanced direct injection fuel system for vehicles powered by high-efficiency, high performance engines operating on pure hydrogen.

Dr. Michael Gallagher, Westport’s President and Chief Operating Officer, said that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) would also be teaming with Westport and Ford on the further development of Westport’s hydrogen direct injection (H2DI) technology.

Hydrogen technology can provide high power and
engine torque with diesel like efficiency

The two-year development program will be divided into two phases. Phase one, which the Government of Canada has pitched $250,000 towards, will define advanced fuel system requirements including the design of fuel injectors. Phase two will incorporate the design and manufacture of new prototype fuel systems.

Dr. Gallagher added that Westport’s H2DI technology has been in testing at Ford, and has shown the potential to provide high power and engine torque with diesel-like efficiency and very low emissions. “Early data indicates the strong potential for a truly green vehicle combining great efficiency characteristics with extremely low air pollutants and zero greenhouse gas emissions at the tailpipe,” he says. “This technology has the potential to be commercially available a lot sooner and more cost-effectively than other hydrogen automotive technologies.”

Both the Government of Canada and the U.S. DOE have recognized that hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engines can help enable the deployment of functional hydrogen powered vehicles, especially work vehicles, which consume large quantities of fuel. This will allow users and technology providers to gain experience with hydrogen infrastructure while operating large numbers of low-cost early production vehicles, the company says.

The development work for the next generation hydrogen engine program will take place in Westport’s technology centre in Vancouver, Ford’s test facilities in Dearborn, Michigan and the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington.

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