January 26, 2012

Westport-powered UPS Gets Thumbs Up in New U.S. Energy Plan

On his post-State Of The Union cross-country tour, U.S. President Barack Obama visited United Parcel Service (UPS) facility in Las Vegas today, unveiling more details of his energy strategy.

Shifting commercial fleets to natural gas is a start, the president said. The government now needs to increase the use of natural gas vehicles for federal and municipal fleets with government incentives, work with the private sector to grow the refueling infrastructure, and spur research and development with a competition to create leading-edge technology around natural gas.

“Think about an America where more cars and trucks are running on domestic natural gas than on foreign oil,” said President Obama. “Think about an America where our companies are leading the world in developing natural gas technology and creating a generation of new energy jobs; where our natural gas resources are helping make our manufacturers more competitive for decades. We can do this.”

UPS was recognized by the president for running its fleet on natural gas, which is being fueled by Westport Innovations and Cummins Westport Inc. technology.

UPS runs 48 trucks with Westport technology between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and 34 in Salt Lake City. In addition, 700 package vans with CWI engines are running in the western U.S.

Westport has worked for some time with partners in the U.S. to foster growth in the natural gas market for heavy-duty use, such as Class 8 trucking. Clean Energy Fuels – which provides refueling services for the UPS Las Vegas facility - announced its route plan on January 12 for the first 150 liquid natural gas (LNG) fueling stations for heavy-duty, on-road trucking.

The demand for natural gas transportation in the U.S. isn’t limited to the heavy duty market. Recently Westport has made significant investments in both the natural gas research & development, and manufacturing and assembly sector in the U.S. Westport has invested in a new Westport LD Michigan Technology Centre in Plymouth, Michigan and an assembly facility in Louisville, Kentucky.

“By supplying Westport WiNG Power System for the Ford F250 and F350 pickups we are also providing a natural gas solution for industry to run their light-duty fleets on a much more economical fuel,” said Ian Scott, President of Westport LD.

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