Westport’s HPDI fuel system offers truck OEMs the flexibility to differentiate their biogas, natural gas, hydrogen, and other fuel product lines easily while maintaining maximum commonality with their conventional diesel-fueled products.
With HDPI systems, greenhouse-gas-emitting fuels such as diesel can be replaced with carbon-neutral or zero-carbon fuels such as biogas or hydrogen. Westport said the fuel system maintains the durability, affordability, efficiency, and performance characteristics that have come to be associated with the diesel engine.
Westport’s HPDI fuel system can help makers of trucks and off-road equipment meet the regulatory requirements of Euro 7 and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency while offering end users affordable, carbon-neutral options, the company said.
Diverse Powertrain Solutions
While Volvo will be a key customer of the joint venture, the joint venture’s mandate will be to enhance commercialization of HPDI through the addition of new trucking and equipment manufacturers as customers.
Under the nonbinding letter of intent signed by the two companies, Westport will contribute current HPDI assets and activities, including related fixed assets, intellectual property, and business, into the joint venture. Volvo will acquire a 45% interest in the joint venture for approximately $28 million plus up to an additional $45 million, depending on the performance of the joint venture.
More About Westport's HPDI Fuel System
According to Westport, the HPDI fuel system consists of a fully integrated “tank to tip” solution, based on diesel engine combustion technology.
At the heart of the engine is a patented fuel injector with a dual concentric needle design. A small amount of pilot fuel (which can be diesel fuel or a biodiesel renewable fuel) is injected into the cylinder prior to the gas to initiate the ignition.
Using HDPI, Westport says, internal combustion engines can achieve higher horsepower and torque by using direct injection and relying on high pressures in the combustion chamber for ignition. Thus, the characteristic of the engine using an HPDI fuel system is very similar to a diesel engine.
HDPI was designed for heavy long-haul and distribution operations as well as off-road applications such as mining, rail, and marine applications. Westport said that HPDI fuel systems offer an alternative with low climate impact while meeting high standards for performance, fuel efficiency, and operating range required for heavy-duty transport.
An Affordable Approach to CO2 Reduction
Volvo’s publicly stated climate goal is to offer only net-zero greenhouse gas emission products, solutions, and services by 2040. To meet this goal, Volvo believes diverse propulsion solutions for diverse applications will be required to meet customers’ needs and environmental demands.
Volvo advocates for a three-pronged approach to reach net-zero products by 2040:
“Decarbonization with internal combustion engines running on renewable fuels, especially with HPDI, plays an important part in sustainable solutions,” said Lars Stenqvist, chief technology officer of Volvo. “HPDI has been on the road in Volvo trucks for over five years and is a proven technology that allows customers to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in LBG (liquefied biogas) applications here and now and is a potential avenue for hydrogen,”
“Westport is advancing fuel system solutions to help our customers affordably address the most pressing challenge of carbon reduction, while continuing to utilize existing manufacturing infrastructure,” added David Johnson, chief executive officer, Westport.
“The joint venture with Volvo is a natural extension of both companies’ commitment to accelerating global carbon reduction and we are proud to partner with such a bold supporter of the future of the internal combustion engine."
Completion of the joint venture is conditional on the successful negotiations and execution of a definitive investment agreement, joint venture agreement, supply agreement, and development agreement.
The joint venture is expected to launch in the first half of 2024.