Kenworth to produce LNG-powered heavy truck

VANCOUVER — Kenworth Truck will start building T800 liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks starting in 2009.

Under an exclusive agreement with Canadian alternative power supplier, Westport Innovations, Kenworth will use Westport’s LNG fuel system technology adapted for the Cummins ISX-15-liter engine.

“This agreement with Kenworth creates a dramatic increase in LNG truck delivery capacity and further strengthens Westport’s ability to efficiently meet the significant growth in market demand for environmentally clean LNG trucks from the ports and other fleet customers,” said Michael Gallagher, president and chief operating officer of Westport.

Westport will open a new LNG Fuel System Assembly Center in British Columbia to support the Kenworth’s Washington State-based factory and rapidly increase production capacities of LNG fuel systems to meet growing market demand. The Westport Assembly Center will facilitate significant capability for fuel system assembly and engine conversions for delivery direct to the Kenworth plant.

Kenworth’s LNG factory installation coincides with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announcement to approve a new $1.6 billion Clean Truck Superfund. The fund will assist replacing many of the 16,800 Class 8 trucks serving the ports with LNG-powered vehicles. The ports have also introduced a new progressive ban that will remove all pre-2007 trucks by 2012. Westport’s LNG fuel system is the only alternative fuel technology currently qualified for financial support under the ports’ Clean Truck program.

“The Kenworth T800, equipped with a Cummins ISX and Westport’s HPDI fuel system, offers an industry-leading solution with world-class low emissions and greenhouse gases, while delivering outstanding horsepower, torque, and efficiency comparable to a diesel engine,” said Bob Christensen, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president.

Kenworth and Westport Innovations have previously collaborated on an aftermarket basis to equip Kenworth T800s with LNG fuel systems. These trucks are already serving the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach. In addition, Pacific Gas & Electric Company in San Francisco recently became the first utility in the nation to operate Kenworth T800 LNG-powered trucks.

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