December 30, 2013

Westport’s 2013 Honourable Mentions

 As 2013 draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to shine the spotlight on a few Westport highlights we thought deserved another mention. From announcing a new President, to the launch of the Westport iCE PACK™ LNG Tank System, to orders for four liquefied natural gas tenders for rail, it’s been an exciting year.

Westport’s 2013 Honourable Mentions

December 24, 2013

Feature Focus: Nancy Gougarty – “I Always Wanted to Make Things”

As Westport’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Nancy Gougarty focuses on leading Westport on a path to profitability. We’re taking a look at what put her on the path to leadership at Westport.

When Nancy joined the Westport team in August, she brought with her 35 years of experience in the automotive industry, with multinational public companies such as Delphi, General Motors and TRW Automotive Corporation. Her key areas of success in operations and international product sales at these companies made her the perfect fit for the job.

Her path to engineering success started with her education at the University of Cincinnati where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in industrial management.

“I always wanted to make things,” she says.

Her career began in 1978 when she started with General Motors’ Packard Electric Division, first as an industrial engineer and later in various roles in application engineering, finance, operations, sales and engineering. 

December 20, 2013

Border Valley Trading: Going “All In” on LNG

Greg Braun, President of Border Valley Trading is laying his cards on the table:

“We’re going all in on liquefied natural gas,” Greg says.

The California-based company is one of the largest exporters of compressed hay products in the Western United States. Border Valley Trading operates two processing facilities located in Brawley and Turlock California, and exports products like alfalfa hay and Bermuda grass for livestock feed across North America and around the world.

December 19, 2013

Driving What They’re Selling: DTE Energy on Why Their Fleet Includes NGVs

Providing electricity and gas services to over three million customers in Michigan requires DTE Energy staff to drive vehicles they can rely on. The company maintains a fleet of nearly 5,000 vehicles, which includes around 300 natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Each vehicle logs about 18,000 miles annually.

“Being a natural gas utility, we’ve always been interested in using CNG as a vehicle fuel,” says Mark Johnson, Director of Fleet Operations.
One of DTE Energy's 300 natural gas vehicles: a bi-fuel Westport WiNG Ford F-250 pickup.

The company’s field staff and supervisors spend a significant amount of time driving to customer sites, setting up utility service and responding to power concerns, among other duties. Several field staff drive bi-fuel Ford F-250 Westport WiNG™ Power System pickups and many will soon drive the Westport WiNG Ford F-150 dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) pickup; the company placed orders for Ford’s first-ever offering of the CNG-capable F-150.

December 13, 2013

Filling Up for the First Time: EBI Opens Canada’s First RNG Station

Don’t you love being the first one in line to fill up at a gas station?

A Quebec-based company, EBI, is offering drivers the chance to be the first ones in Canada to fill up their vehicles with renewable natural gas (RNG).

The company recently opened two public natural gas fuel stations located in Berthierville and Montreal, Quebec. The stations sell compressed natural gas (CNG) made from RNG. The fuel is produced by capturing methane gas from EBI’s landfills. Once the gas is captured, it’s stripped of impurities, channeled into Gaz Métro pipelines and made available as a fuel for any natural gas vehicle (NGV) that needs to fill up.

EBI is the first company in Canada to publicly sell RNG.

EBI: The first Canadian company to sell renewable natural gas at a public fuel station.
“We have been running natural gas trucks since 2011,” says Ghislain Lapointe, EBI’s Fleet Manager. “The trucks are quieter than diesel and emit up to 25 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diesel powered trucks,” he said.

December 12, 2013

On the Road with Apache's Natural Gas-Powered Fleet

With a fleet of over 1,200 vehicles in the U.S., and a turnover of 100 to 200 vehicles per year, the employees at Apache Corporation know what it means to put a lot of miles on their trucks.

About half of the current fleet now runs on natural gas, says Frank Chapel, Apache’s Director of Natural Gas Transportation Fuels, and the long term goal is to have 80 per cent comprised of light and medium-duty natural gas vehicles (NGVs).

“Our whole purpose is to lead by example and promote natural gas as the transportation fuel of choice,” Frank says. “We are doing this by transforming our fleet to natural gas power and constructing supporting CNG fueling stations.”
Around half of Apache's fleet are natural gas vehicles, including bi-fuel Westport WiNG™ Power System Ford F-250s

December 5, 2013

Westport, at Your Service

Usually when fleets buy trucks, their purchase, service and support is done entirely by the manufacturer. For fleets who’ve adopted natural gas, Westport also maintains a skilled, customer-driven service team to support trucks equipped with Westport™ HPDI technology. Natural gas vehicles are still new for many users and Westport wants to ensure that fleets are supported as they adopt the new fuel and technology.

The service team dedicated to the engines and fuel systems for heavy-duty trucks offers support to customers throughout North America and Australia. The team has over 50 years of combined experience in Westport HPDI technology – a high performance engine technology developed by Westport and its founding engineers.

Running a natural gas fleet means owners and drivers need to understand some new procedures. The Westport service team trains the customer in operating and fuelling, coordinates delivery, and provides optional extra maintenance training.

Andre Zawadowicz, a member of  Westport's field service representative team,
trains first responders from multiple agencies in Lyme, Conneticuit.

"We have trained over 50 fleets, providing over 50 training courses for more than 600 personnel annually including technicians, operations, and first responders,” says Bryan Fargo, Field Service Manager for Westport.

December 1, 2013

What’s Better than Cheap CNG? Free CNG!

Westport and Clean Energy Fuels are teaming up to give customers free fuel if they buy a qualifying Westport WiNG™ Power System powered Ford vehicle before December 31, 2013. Customers who order five or more vehicles will receive credits for free compressed natural gas (CNG) at any of the retail Clean Energy CNG stations across the United States.

As leaders in the natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry, Westport and Clean Energy are working together to lead the transition to NGVs – vehicles using a cleaner fuel that is domestically abundant and more affordable than gasoline. The free fuel offer gives existing fleets, and fleets considering natural gas vehicles, the chance to enjoy the technology, performance and ease of refueling NGVs.

The free fuel credits are being offered on a “first-come-first-served” basis, and up to 750,000 gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of CNG fuel will be given away by Westport during the promotion. Fleets have until December 31, 2015 to use their free fuel credits.

November 29, 2013

The New Face of Fueling: Renewable Natural Gas

This is the fourth installment in our guest blog series: A Wider Lens.
This series features first-hand accounts from people driving natural gas vehicles, industry leaders and decision-makers in the natural gas transportation industry.

By Guest Contributor, Harrison Clay, President of Clean Energy Fuels Corp. 
Subsidiary of Clean Energy Renewable Fuels. 

We all know what separates natural gas from the other “traditional” fuels—it's cleaner, cheaper and domestic—but in an era of innovation, I think too many folks are quick to dismiss natural gas as traditional.

Not anymore. Now we can produce pipeline quality natural gas from biogas and biomass feedstock sources, and it’s interchangeable with fossil natural gas. It’s called renewable natural gas and it’s not just semi-renewable—it’s 100 per cent renewable. It’s good for our businesses and our communities. And there's nothing “traditional” about it.

In October, Clean Energy launched the first commercially available renewable natural gas, called Redeem and it is currently available at stations in California.

Here’s how it’s made:

November 28, 2013

Driving to the Forefront of the Trucking Industry, with First Generation HPDI

Jeff Salmon, General Manager of Denwill/Bridgeway-Ironclad Logistics, runs a fleet of 10 trucks that  have travelled aprox. 310,000 miles with 475 horsepower engines on first generation HPDI. 
Hauling a gross vehicle weight of 63,500 Kgs. of gas and diesel in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and up the Trans-Canada Highway with stops in Pemberton and the Greater Vancouver area on the way to Hope is a regular day in the life of one of Denwill’s trucks, powered with a Westport 15L featuring first generation high pressure direct injection (HPDI). 

Jeff Salmon, General Manager of Denwill/Bridgeway – Ironclad Logistics, based out of Burnaby, British Columbia, has a fleet of 10 Peterbilt Model 367 trucks hauling tanker trailers that transport petroleum products to more than 120 fuel stations and card lock locations across the Lower Mainland region. The natural gas that powers the engine is stored as liquefied natural gas (LNG) on each truck.

November 25, 2013

Bright House Networks Turns the Ignition on a Natural Gas Transit Connect

When Tom Turner, Senior Fleet Corporate Manager at Bright House Networks, attended a conference hosted by Clean Energy in California two years ago, he got an idea to help Bright House Networks operate a little brighter.

“Our company was looking for ways to reduce our footprint,” Tom said. “If we can save fuel and make the environment better, that’s what our company wants to do.”

Tom oversees a fleet of thousands of vehicles that serve approximately 2.5 million customers in Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and California. The company is the sixth largest owner and operator of cable systems in the U.S. and the second largest provider in Florida.

After meeting a representative from BAF technologies, a Westport company, Tom pursued the purchase of a dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) powered transit connect vehicle. The term “dedicated” means that the vehicle operates only on CNG and is optimized to run most efficiently on that fuel.

The CNG transit connect is one of the types of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) Bright House is using in its fleet to decrease carbon emissions.
This Bright House Transit Connect is the company's first which will run entirely on compressed natural gas (CNG).

November 19, 2013

Natural Gas - A Remarkable Transportation Renaissance

This is the third installment in our guest blog series: A Wider Lens.
This series features first-hand accounts from people driving natural gas vehicles, industry leaders and decision-makers in the natural gas transportation industry.

By Guest Contributor, Alicia Milner 
President of the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA)

Alicia Milner, President of the CNGVA
A remarkable renaissance is taking place when it comes to the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel in Canada. Long recognized as a cleaner-burning alternative, natural gas vehicles had some inherent technology challenges when they first made their debut in Canada back in the 1980’s. Heavy steel fuel cylinders, inefficient engines, and power loss issues all contributed to operational and economic challenges for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle users.

Fast forward to 2013 and natural gas vehicles are now poised to move into the mainstream in both Canada and the United States. Heavy truck and bus fleets are choosing natural gas because of the fuel cost savings, lower emissions, quieter operation, availability of factory-built vehicles, renewable natural gas-capability, and diesel-like performance. And while many reasons can be cited for why a fleet might consider switching to natural gas, nothing is more powerful than seeing some of Canada’s early adopters returning to natural gas vehicle use.

Transit bus operator Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) is an excellent example. HSR participated directly in the development of the world’s first natural gas transit bus in the mid-1980s and went on to acquire two more generations of natural gas engines in their transit bus fleet. At the peak, HSR operated Canada’s largest fleet of natural gas buses with more than 100 CNG buses, but challenges with maintenance costs, vehicle reliability, and refueling station maintenance led HSR to move away from CNG.

November 12, 2013

Natural Gas: Greener and Cheaper Transport for Europe

This is the second installment in our guest blog series: A Wider Lens.
This series features first-hand accounts from people driving natural gas vehicles, industry leaders and decision-makers in the natural gas transportation industry.

By Guest Contributor, Alexander I. Medvedev
Director General of OOO Gazprom Export and Deputy Chairman of OAO Gazprom’s Management Committee

Alexander I. Medvedev:
"I can't  ignore this significant market in the making."
Energy connects. It fuels cars, trucks and ships to travel thousands of kilometres, transporting goods and people via ever-evolving networks. Modes of transport have always been drivers of innovation. Over the past decades, there have been technological breakthroughs in the design, speed, or size of vehicles. Today, the most urgent challenges are environmental and economic, and natural gas is a perfect solution for greener and cheaper mobility.

The use of natural gas in transport already grew by 220 per cent between 2008 and 2012 worldwide, from 13.6bcm to 30.1bcm.[i] The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently predicted that by 2018 alone, gas use in transport could increase by nearly 10 per cent to 50bcm worldwide. Other forecasts say that in Europe this market segment could represent no less than 40bcm of additional gas by 2030, while reaching between 200 and 400bcm worldwide.[ii]

As the Director General of Gazprom Export, I can’t ignore this significant market in the making. We at Gazprom aim to take gas as fuel to a whole new level. We recently acquired 12 compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations in South Germany, with a target of reaching 23 stations by the end of 2013. We plan to further expand the gas filling network in the coming years. Thanks to natural gas, low-emission transport is not a vision of the future. Natural gas is readily available today: reliable, safe, affordable, and environmentally friendly.

November 1, 2013

JumpStart: Bridging the Station Gap for LNG-Powered Trucks

Westport's Peter Wunder: "To bridge the gap, we came up with an alternative to allow fleets to use LNG."
Want to drive a liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled truck, but don’t have a station near you? You need a Westport JumpStart. JumpStart is a mobile refueling station program designed for fleets without a permanent natural gas station. 

“There was a shortage of LNG fueling infrastructure when JumpStart began in 2011,” says Peter Wunder, Westport’s LNG Refueling Manager. “To bridge the gap, we came up with an alternative to allow fleets to use LNG.”

Companies with fleets in rural areas are well suited to a mobile fueling station – it allows them to use LNG even without a nearby permanent station. LNG infrastructure providers are another good fit, as they can enter a market before or while a station is being built.

The recent release of the Cummins Westport ISX12 G has increased interest in LNG use by fleets for over-the-road trucking because of the added range LNG provides compared to compressed natural gas (CNG). A recent article in the Wall Street Journal cites companies such as Volvo AB, Proctor & Gamble and FedEx that are accelerating a shift amongst their fleets to natural gas.

October 29, 2013

Pioneer Natural Resources: 'Fuelling Vehicles with Natural Gas Makes Sense and Cents'

A Wider Lens – Guest Blog Series 

This is the first installment in our guest blog series: A Wider Lens. 
This series will feature first-hand accounts from people driving natural gas vehicles, industry leaders and decision-makers in the natural gas transportation industry.

By Guest Contributor – Lynn Lyon, Pioneer Natural Resources

Natural gas as a vehicle fuel is a new idea to most people. When provided with a less expensive and cleaner alternative, some people are skeptical. As individuals and companies hear about opportunities for fuel cost savings they become more interested. Those who do the analysis are increasingly deciding that moving to natural gas makes sense and cents.
Lynn Lyon, Director of Fuel Market Development at Pioneer Natural Resources Company: "We have significant savings, with high-mileage drivers saving up to $500 a month in fuel costs." 
Companies with high mileage and strong logistic insight are the first adopters because they know how to assess the impact across their operations. They have the time and the motivation to learn more about their fuel options. With over ten per cent of Fortune 100 companies currently using natural gas to fuel transportation, Pioneer Natural Resources is in good company. Leading companies in retail, food services, shipping, technology and consumer products are learning about the benefits of switching to natural gas.

Pioneer Natural Resources started converting fleet vehicles to run on compressed natural gas in 2008 with a small pilot project in Southern Colorado. As an early adopter, we had an opportunity to learn about how our product, natural gas, could be used in our fleet vehicles. Our first station was not big enough and we had some frustrating but manageable problems with our trucks. Our perseverance paid off though and we are proud of the results.

We have learned that the technology with trucks and stations have improved and provide a stable base for operations. With widespread natural gas pipelines to access and the rapid increase of public stations, we have increased confidence in our ability to fuel up at locations throughout Texas. At this point the biggest challenge is the willingness to change.
Pioneer Natural Resources has over 270 natural gas vehicles with operations in Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Alaska. 
We currently have over 270 natural gas powered vehicles in our fleet. The majority are bi-fuel Ford F-250 Trucks with the bi-fuel Westport WiNG™ Power System. We also use dedicated Peterbilt heavy duty trucks and Honda Civic NGV sedans. We developed three private stations in remote field operations to use local gas. We have teamed up with retail natural gas fuel stations in some locations and expect to use more gas from retailers in the future.

We have significant savings, with high-mileage drivers saving up to five hundred dollars a month in fuel costs. Our trucks and stations have been performing well with minimal issues. When we do have a problem, our relationship with Westport helps us resolve issues quickly.

I personally drive a Westport WiNG ™ Ford F-250 and have been impressed with the seamless transition from natural gas to gasoline when I drive to a remote location without natural gas fueling access. The engine switches fuels while the truck is moving with no interruption – the only way to know that it has switched is to watch the fuel gauges.

Affordable fuel is good for Pioneer and everyone. In the not too distant future, we are expecting more fueling stations and competitive prices for compressed natural gas, at $1-2.00 below the prices of gasoline. We our building off of our successful fleet transition by assessing gasoline and diesel displacement projects with our third party suppliers, drilling operations, pressure pumping services and mining operations.

Switching to natural gas fueling may provide significant savings in many parts of our operations in the future.

Lynn Lyon is the Director of Fuel Market Development at Pioneer Natural Resources Company. Follow her on Twitter: @lynnmurraylyon

To learn more about Pioneer Natural Resources, visit their website:

October 25, 2013

Roll Call: Alternative Fuel Vehicle Technician Certification Programs On the Rise

As the natural gas vehicle industry grows, more institutions are offering technician certification courses to meet growing student demand. These courses are designed to teach experienced automotive technicians to service and repair natural gas vehicles (NGVs).

Different jurisdictions have varying requirements for alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) technicians. The State of Oklahoma, for instance, stipulates that technicians who work on alternate fuel vehicles need to pass the Oklahoma State Certification Test to be certified as an alternative fuels equipment technician.

Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) has been offering courses in both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for the past four years to prepare technicians to pass the state exam. The Professional Development Institute within the college offers a three-day program which has graduated about 450 people to date.  Six students take the $500 course each week, year round.
Shane Snyder is an automotive technician at Fowler Honda in Norman, Oklahoma. He recently completed OCCC’s course.

“It covers all of the bases in a short amount of time,” Shane said. “They teach a lot about natural gas vehicle laws and safety – once you know the information it’s much easier to work on the vehicles. I’m a lot more comfortable after taking the class.”

Shane said his peers work in the areas of fleet services, government fleets, and private dealerships, among others.

John Vanhook, Director of OCCC’s Professional Development Institute, said students receive training in safety, fuel characteristics, system descriptions and operation, fuel line bending, system diagnosis, system inspection and regulations. They have to pass five physical tests during the course where they ‘debug’ problems in a hands-on environment.

“We’ve achieved the state-level support that is needed,” John said. “We get inquiries from across the United States almost every day about this program.”

According to the Atlanta-based Natural Gas Vehicle Institute, NGV safety is a critical responsibility for every fleet manager operating CNG vehicles or liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles. The website states there are four key factors vital to safe NGV fleet operations:
  • Safe driving 
  • Safe fueling 
  • Safe maintenance 
  • Standardized fuel system inspections 
The demand for training in this area continues to grow, and in August Linn Benton College announced a $1.5 million award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help fund a 10,000 square foot alternative fuels training center in Lebanon, Oregon to train automotive, trucking and heavy equipment technicians, scheduled to open in 2014.

Check out these resources for more information on natural gas vehicle training and certification:

United States
(The Oklahoma Division of Capital Assets Management in Oklahoma also offers a map which identifies alternative fuels technicians and/or companies who have been state-certified.)
West Virginia:


October 21, 2013

Cummins Westport Recognized for its Spark-Ignited Innovation

Cummins Westport Inc. received international recognition in Washington, D.C. last week for its spark-ignited natural gas engine technology.

Cummins Westport President Jim Arthurs accepted one of the ‘Energy Security Prize,’ Advanced Technology Awards from Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE). The award was presented at the OPEC Oil Embargo +40 – a one-day energy security summit held on the 40th anniversary of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo.
Photo Courtesy of Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE): Dr. Henry Kissinger, former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, at the OPEC Oil Embargo +40 Energy Summit.
The SAFE prize is designed to recognize emerging and advanced technologies which have the ability to significantly reduce dependence on petroleum-based fuels. The prize is designed to both recognize and reward innovators who are helping to find alternatives to oil dependence.

Cummins Westport engines have been adopted by leading transit agencies, waste management companies and truck fleets and use 100 per cent compressed, liquefied or renewable natural gas.

“Both of Cummins Westport's parent companies - Cummins Inc. and Westport Innovations Inc. - have been pioneers in the use of natural gas for transportation for more than 20 years,” Jim said. “Our joint venture has been a major force in commercializing these engines and making them available for use in transit, refuse and truck applications in both North America and around the world.”

“Companies like Cummins Westport have shown that it can be done, and that what's good for energy security is also good for business,” said Robbie Diamond, Founder and President of SAFE. “We're excited by their leadership and appreciate their perseverance in diversifying our country’s transportation fuels and improving its efficiency.”

The summit brought together business and political leaders to discuss the state of U.S. energy security and the most promising technological solutions to reduce U.S. oil dependence. One of the day’s sessions titled: The Transportation Challenge: Who Can Beat Oil? featured Chairman of BP Capital Management T. Boone Pickens and President and CEO of Waste Management David P. Steiner, among others.

Other attendees included Dr. Henry Kissinger, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation.
Photo Courtesy of Securing America's Future Energy  (SAFE): Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation speaks at the one-day energy summit.

October 18, 2013

A Canadian First: Westport Opens its Windsor Integration Centre for Bi-fuel Ford Pickups

Canada’s first and only plant to build compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles recognized under Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier program opened its doors this week in Windsor Ontario. Industry, community and government leaders joined Westport Executive Vice President Ian Scott at the opening ceremony of the Westport Windsor Integration Centre on October 16, 2013.

The event marked a new phase in Canada’s natural gas vehicle movement.

Canadians will now be able to drive natural gas-powered new Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks with the Westport WiNG™ Power System. Previously these vehicles were only available in the United States.

Representatives from Ford of Canada, Encana Oil and Gas, Union Gas, Ferus Natural Gas Fuels, Enbridge Gas Distribution, the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance and the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce helped cut the ribbon at the new 20,000 square foot facility.

“More and more, our customers are starting to ask for natural gas vehicles,” said Mike Traub, Director, Fleet Sales and Remarketing for Ford of Canada. “We’re glad we now have a product in Canada to offer them.”

Bob Bailey, member of Ontario provincial parliament for Sarnia-Lambton, also attended. He recently proposed Bill 97, the Natural Gas Superhighway Act. The bill includes a non-refundable tax credit for Ontarians who purchase medium and heavy-duty vehicles, using either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or CNG in Ontario.

“Everyone is here today – industry and community leaders – are all here to lead the way in the transition to natural gas vehicles in Canada,” said John Howell, Westport’s Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development. “Working together, we can help build the natural gas infrastructure, provide the support needed and educate Canadians to make natural gas vehicles a part of their everyday solution for transportation.”
Members of the Media Film a Ford F-250 Westport WiNG Power System Pickup Truck - Now for Sale in Canada.

Open for Business! Westport's Ian Scott and John Lapetz Cut the Ribbon, Opening the New Westport Windsor Integration Centre.

October 11, 2013

Renewable Natural Gas Fuel – Available at a Gas Station Near You (in California)

Clean Energy will offer Redeem, renewable natural gas fuel at 35 public stations in California.
A new type of natural gas fuel entered the commercial market last week: Clean Energy Fuels announced it will be selling ‘Redeem’ at 35 public stations throughout California. Redeem is a renewable natural gas fuel made from waste streams such as landfills, large dairies and sewage plants.

Renewable natural gas is produced from biogas and biomass feedstock sources and can be upgraded to pipeline quality gas (also known as biomethane) that is interchangeable with fossil natural gas. It can be used as a 100 per cent substitute for, or blended with conventional gas sources for use in vehicle engines.
It’s the first time a company will be offering this type of fuel for sale to the public. But it’s not the first time fleets have used the fuel. Waste Management, has been using biomethane from its landfill to fuel many of its more than 2,000 garbage trucks, the majority of which are equipped with engines supplied by Cummins Westport (CWI).

“When a company can produce its own fuel from its own landfill operations to power its own fleet, it really doesn’t get any better than that,” said Charlie Ker, refuse segment director for CWI. “And we’re seeing more and more examples of this happening in fleets across North America.”

Since 2008, Cummins Westport has sold about 8,000 natural gas engines in the waste recovery and recycling industry.

A New York Times article published on October 2 states that Clean Energy’s announcement came as a surprise to many in the transportation industry; widespread, publicly available renewable natural gas was not anticipated this year. The article’s author, journalist Diane Cardwell states that California’s state-level incentives are encouraging the adoption of cleaner fuels, as the state aims to reach 1990-level carbon emissions targets by 2020.

Clean Energy’s announcement states that Redeem is being produced at facilities in Dallas, Texas; Canton, Michigan and is constructing a third facility in Millington, Tennessee; it’s also being sourced from third parties.

Thousands of cars, taxis, shuttles and industrial fleets in California are now using Clean Energy’s Redeem fuel, including around 600 vehicles at the San Francisco International Airport, which announced on October 4 that it would be using Redeem fuel at the airport’s two CNG stations.

Related Reading:
Redeem Fuel:
Waste Management and Cummins Westport:
Renewable Natural Gas:

October 8, 2013

Westport Leader Now a Sustainability All Star

One of Westport’s leaders is now a ‘Sustainability All Star.’ Westport Vice President John Lapetz was one of 40 individuals recognized at Green Fleet Magazine’s third annual Sustainability All-Star Awards ceremony on October 2 in Phoenix, Arizona for his achievements in alternative fuel vehicle systems.

“I’m pleased and honoured to receive this award on behalf of all the people who I have worked with in pursuing what I feel is a national and global imperative – to leave the world the way we found it,” John said. “This award is an affirmation that the support I received from Ford Motor Company and now with Westport in pursuing that goal has not gone unnoticed. I also want to congratulate all of my fellow winners for their efforts.”

John began his journey with alternative fuel vehicles at Ford Motor Company, where he worked for 35 years. After pioneering the development of Ford’s program worldwide, from natural gas fleet vehicles to hydrogen buses, as well as playing a key role in development of Ford’s Qualifed Vehicle Modifer (QVM) and FlexFuel programs, John assumed the role of Director of Technology for the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation in 2009.

John’s current role at Westport includes the engineering and development of the bi-fuel (CNG/gasoline) Westport WiNG™ Power System out of Westport’s Michigan location.

In June, Westport acquired BAF Technologies, Inc. and its subsidiary, ServoTech Engineering, Inc., securing its position as Ford’s largest partner under the QVM program with over 10 products and approximately 150 Ford authorized dealerships. Westport also recently announced it will offer the newly launched natural gas powered Ford F-150 featuring the Westport WiNG™ Power System in both the United States and Canada.

Green Fleet magazine staff reviewed nominees who’ve achieved significant sustainability accomplishments and made innovative contributions to reducing emissions and fuel consumption. Overall industry involvement was also considered. The 40 award winners included commercial and public sector fleet managers as well as vendors and suppliers. They will be featured in the upcoming issue of Green Fleet magazine.

The complete list of award winners can be viewed here:

October 3, 2013

Westport Rallies for Natural Gas Vehicle Adoption in Europe

Westport will be hitting the road this week as a participant in the Blue Corridor Natural Gas Vehicle Rally, happening from October 3 to 19. Organized by fuel suppliers Gazprom and E.ON, the rally stars in St. Petersburg, Russia, and travels a 3,900 kilometre route around the Baltic Sea, with stops in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. It even includes a ride on a ferry that operates on liquefied natural gas.

Westport’s Mats Christensson will be driving a bi-fuel Volvo V70, powered by Westport’s natural gas system, from our facility in Gothenborg, Sweden to Hamburg, Germany.

“The rally is organized by major natural gas suppliers in Europe, and we believe it’s a good way to promote the use of natural gas vehicles,” says Mats.
Westport's Mats Christensson hits the road Oct. 8 - 10, driving the bi-fuel Volvo V70 starting in Gothenborg. 
This is the seventh Blue Corridor rally, and since the first one was held the number of natural gas vehicles worldwide has almost doubled from 9.5 million to more than 17 million today.

Natural gas vehicles offer economic and environmental benefits, and part of the purpose of the rally is to educate fleets, public authorities and the public about the advantages of considering NGVs over vehicles that operate on petroleum-based fuels.

Westport will be on hand for a round table discussion with industry, policy makers, and auto enthusiasts, and to display the Volvo V70 while in Hamburg on October 10.

“We’ll be exhibiting the vehicle to anyone who’s interested in learning more,” says Mats.

And people who happen to miss the rally stop and exhibition in Hamburg can still have a chance to see the Volvo V70, as it will be on loan to the Auto Nova Volvo dealership in Hamburg through to December.

Follow Mats’s journey during the Rally on Twitter @WestportDotCom from October 8 through 10.
The route Mats will drive for the Blue Corridor rally beginning in Gothenborg, Sweden.

September 30, 2013

A pickup truck with an LNG tank? That’s very cool.

Expect a few double-takes at the Westport booth during the ICUEE Demo Expo in Louisville this week, when we debut a very ‘cool’ prototype: a Ford F-550 bi-fuel operating on gasoline or liquefied natural gas (LNG). You read that right – LNG.

This concept vehicle is believed to be the first of its kind, and will feature the Westport™ iCE PACK LNG Tank System, designed for use with spark ignited vehicles. Westport currently produces the Westport™ WiNG Power System, which is also bi-fuel, but uses compressed natural gas or gasoline.

“This would be a vehicle for companies that want to operate purely on LNG, because they’ve got both heavy duty and light duty fleets.” says John Howell, Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development at Westport. “It’s a prototype and would appeal to a very specialized type of customer, because not everyone will need this.”

Current industry standard systems require warm (saturated) LNG. The Westport iCE PACK offers fuel-flexibility with the ability to carry both cold and warm LNG. By carrying fuel as cold LNG, it can extend fuel storage times and improve vehicle range by up to 10 percent.

Assembled at Westport’s technical centre in Plymouth, Michigan, the concept vehicle features a lengthened service body and 70 gallon tank. While Westport iCE PACK was originally developed as a product for Class 8 over the road vehicles – and optimized for the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine – the idea for this configuration was raised by a major fleet company currently using LNG, who were interested to see if it could be done.

“It was an opportunity for Westport to demonstrate our ability to innovate and be flexible,” says Steve Anderson, Vice President of Business Development at Westport. “In the past, this wasn’t an option for light duty vehicles, but with iCE PACK we now have a low pressure LNG system. We’re interested to see what kind of interest there is from other fleets similar to our prototype partner.”

Visiting the Demo Expo? Come by and see us at Booth N2001.

September 26, 2013

Building Your Business Case for Natural Gas: A Case Study - Westport Webinar

Ten months ago, Mark Huff, president of Tri-Star Construction in Tulsa, Oklahoma, started making the switch to natural gas vehicles for his fleet. He estimates that in less than one year, it’s saved his business about 40 percent in fuel costs.

As his natural gas fleet is less than a year old, Mark says he’ll have a better idea what the overall savings are once he completes a full tax year. Still, he believes it’s making a difference to his bottom line, and that it could eventually mean big savings for his company and his customers.

“Anything we can do to save, we’ll pass along to our customers,” he says. “We sometimes do $1 million to $2 million jobs, and if you can shave one to two percent off bids, that’s big money. It’s a win for everyone.”

On October 10, Mark will be sharing his experience in a free Westport webinar, Building Your Business Case for Natural Gas: A Case Study. Before switching to natural gas, Mark spent about six months crunching the numbers and assessing if natural gas was the right option for his fleet of Ford F-250s.

During the webinar, Mark will outline the process he undertook and the analytics he used in order to make a decision that was best for his business and his customers.

“I went to a compressed natural gas (CNG) summit where several businesses in Tulsa that had already adopted CNG were speaking” Mark says about his first step towards adopting a natural gas fleet. “Everybody who’s made the change is positive.”

Another ongoing benefit Mark has seen – literally – from operating a natural gas fleet, which includes four Westport WiNG™ Power System bi-fuel Ford F-250s, is a reduced cost in maintenance. For instance, he believes his trucks need far fewer oil changes than those running purely on gasoline.

“We’ve been draining the oil at 3,000 miles and it looks brand new,” Mark explains. “I’ve seen the oil at 5,000 miles and it looks brand new. They run so clean that I’d be confident saying they could go 7,000 miles between oil changes. It’s another perk.”

If you’re considering the shift to natural gas and would like to hear about a real-life case study, please register for this free webinar here.

September 23, 2013

Europe’s Natural Gas Vehicle Industry Stakeholders Meet this November in Amsterdam

European stakeholders across the supply chain are preparing for the 2nd Annual Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Conference and Exhibition on November 25-26 in Amsterdam. This is Westport’s second year at the event and we’re excited to have another opportunity to encourage expanding Europe’s NGV market.

Along with promoting natural gas as a viable transportation fuel, this year’s NGV Conference and Expo will have a strong focus on informing fleet customers of the benefits that switching to natural gas can bring to their businesses.

Westport’s Director of Market Development, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Nadège Leclercq says, “We like the idea of fleet operators being better informed about the possibilities and advantages of using natural gas as a vehicle fuel, because today most of the transportation companies are not aware. At this event they will be able to learn from major European companies that are already using natural gas vehicles. We believe it will be very valuable to share this experience.”

Contributing to this goal is Gordon Exel, Westport’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Americas and EMEA, who’ll be speaking at the conference. Attendees will also hear expert insights and outlooks from organisations such as Volvo Trucks, Gazprom Export, Daimler AG and the European Commission among many other key market players.

The event’s aim is to provide solutions for Europe’s transportation industry and show fleet organisations how to effectively and seamlessly integrate natural gas fuel into their operations.

Fleet owners and operators will learn about important gas engine technology updates and current investments in expanding the fuelling infrastructure network from senior level attendees representing the leading fleets, gas producers, utilities, fuel distributors and infrastructure developers. Owners and operators will also have a chance to connect with other transportation and fleet companies who’ve already made the switch to natural gas-fuelled fleets.

The demand for NGVs and infrastructure is growing, and with Europe’s increasingly stricter emissions standards, the NGV conference is more pertinent than ever. NGVs can significantly contribute to Europe’s CO2 emission reduction objectives. In January 2013, the European Commission announced plans for a network of compressed and liquefied natural gas refuelling stations covering the whole European Union.

Don’t wait… Mark your calendar and visit the Natural Gas Vehicle Conference website to register for the event!

September 17, 2013

Environmental Defense Fund and University of Texas release Production Module Results for Methane Leakage

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) yesterday released the results of the first module of a multi-partner study on methane emissions in the natural gas fuel chain, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This study provides another important data source to assess fugitive methane emissions associated with natural gas production. According to the study results, the methane leakage rate is 2,300 gigagrams (Gg) or 0.42% of gross production, which aligns with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest estimates of 2,545 Gg (2011 national emissions inventory).

It’s also interesting to note that 99% of methane that could potentially be emitted is captured (or prevented from being emitted to the atmosphere), showing the progress already made by the industry. Pneumatic controllers and equipment leakage at the production site have been singled out as ongoing sources of methane emissions, giving the industry direction on where more reductions can be made.

This module is part of a series of studies that will assess the entire natural gas production, processing and supply chain. The “pump to wheels” module is expected to be released early/mid 2014. Westport is a partner in this effort and is supplying technical support to West Virginia University researchers who are field testing vehicles with Westport and Cummins Westport engines.

Westport is participating in the EDF study to improve understanding of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction benefits of commercial and heavy duty natural gas vehicles and fueling stations. Studies like this, with a range of industry partners like Shell, Volvo, Westport, Cummins Westport and fleet operators, offer the opportunity to collect data under real-world operating conditions. The study is being rigorously peer-reviewed, and will advance industry and academic knowledge about the GHG emissions reduction benefits of heavy-duty natural gas vehicles. Each of the modules will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the potential for methane leakage and opportunities for innovation and improvement.

The use of natural gas in transportation is a relatively new market; one that is evolving and improving and with the potential for deeper GHG emission reductions compared to diesel. These types of collaborations will help advance the industry, drive improvements across engines, vehicles and stations and uncover best practices to further safeguard the environmental advantages of natural gas.

September 11, 2013

Westport and EMD - Developing a Future of Natural Gas-Powered Locomotives

Getting a 4600 horsepower locomotive engine to run on natural gas isn’t something that happens every day. But that’s what Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) and Westport achieved this summer when both companies ran the EMD multi-cylinder 710 HPDI locomotive engine at the LaGrange facility. Westport also has a test rig in Vancouver.

EMD is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of diesel-electric locomotives. In December 2011, the company joined Westport, Canadian National Railway (CN) and Gaz Metro in a collaboration to demonstrate a natural gas locomotive. The work is part of a consortium project supported by $2.3 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to test Westport™ high pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology for use in high-horsepower applications.

Marti Lenz, EMD’s Director of Engine Systems, leads the project for the company from their engine testing facility in LaGrange, Illinois.

“Westport is the lead, but as the OEM we’ve got a team put together helping to ensure that the engine requirements are met and that we have a robust solution when we demonstrate this on CN in the latter part of 2014,” Marti said.

Part of the rigorous testing process currently underway involves ensuring the engine meets all of its performance parameters and emissions targets.
The EMD multi-cylinder 710 HPDI locomotive engine at the LaGrange facility in Illinois. 
According to the United Nations Statistics Division, railroads around the world burn 9 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually, largely in the transportation of freight. The development of natural gas fuelled locomotives could reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and costs associated with transporting the world’s primary resources and manufactured goods. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) produces up to 27 per cent fewer Green House Gas emissions and is currently cheaper than diesel.

Westport designed, built and installed the Westport HPDI fuel system on the engine and is also working on a high-pressure tender to carry the fuel. David Mumford, Westport’s Senior Director Off-Road Partner Development, says the technology is well-suited to high horsepower applications.

“This project is an entry point into the high horsepower world that demonstrates how Westport™ HPDI can successfully fuel engines with 10 times the horsepower of our heavy haul trucking while successfully meeting emissions.”
Westport's high horsepower locomotive test rig in Vancouver, British Columbia.
EMD first began investigating natural gas as a fuel for their engines in the 1990s.

“We got to the point where the thing that was holding us up was the fuel injector,” Marti said. “Westport had the technology to have a good fuel injector – it makes the whole thing do-able.”

EMD has a heritage of selling locomotives around the world. The company sells locomotives in over 70 countries with over 62,000 sales over the past 80 years. About 25,000 EMD locomotives are currently in use in North America.

Both Westport and EMD will be at the High Horsepower Summit in Chicago from September 17 – 19. EMD will be offering a tour of its LaGrange engine facility to key EMD rail and marine customers on an invitation only basis on the afternoon of Monday, September 16. 

September 6, 2013

Westport at Work: Load Lifter

A Canadian company with products working in a range of climates and off-highway applications around the world, Load Lifter designs and manufactures rough terrain forklifts. Their machines are used in a wide range of industries such as construction, mining, forestry, utility and agriculture.

Just over a year ago, Load Lifter’s President Hedley Thomas was researching alternative fuels for diesel engines and came across Westport’s 2.4 litre industrial engine. It runs on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) and integrates multipoint fuel injection (MPI) technology with Hyundai Motor Company's automotive engine platform.

“We decided to give Westport product a try,” said Dave Tughan, Load Lifter’s Operations Manager. “The experience with this engine compared to our past engines has been much better. It performs better and is more technologically advanced.”

Based in Stouffville, Ontario, just east of Toronto, Load Lifter is a family business run by Hedley, his three sons and Dave. Canadian utility companies are among Load Lifter’s customers, who use their forklifts to drive through extreme weather conditions and difficult terrain.
Deep mud? No problem for Load Lifter's forklifts which are designed to work in extreme conditions.
“In our business the primary fuel is diesel,” Dave said. “But there are a lot of applications where people don’t want to use diesel – there’s a perception it’s not as clean.”

Load Lifter’s forklifts are available in both two and four wheel drive. Load Lifter’s customers often work in mud and snow in places like Sherbrooke, Quebec for instance, optimal conditions for the design of their forklifts. By powering the machines with LPG instead of diesel, refueling can be more easily accomplished outside on the worksite by simply switching the propane fuel tank.

“We’re really excited about the relationship with Westport,” Dave said.

If you’d like to learn more about Load Lifter, visit their website at or Stanmore Equipment, which is the retail division of the company. To learn more about Westport’s industrial 2.4L engine, visit the Westport website.
Load Lifter President Hedley Thomas in front of an LPG-powered forklift. 

August 30, 2013

If You Build it They Will Come: Natural Gas Fueling Infrastructure in North America

By Kate Kalnin

As the demand for natural gas vehicles (NGVs) grows in everything from passenger cars to rail, so does the need for the supporting refueling infrastructure. In North America, the natural gas fueling landscape is expanding to accommodate the some 137,205 and growing NGVs on Canadian and American highways (NGV Global 2011).
Data based on information collected from the Transportation Energy Data Book:
NGV owners have increasing options for fueling their vehicles including public and private compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) stations, depot-based stations with slow-fill options and at-home refueling appliances that attach to a homeowner’s natural gas line.

According to the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA), Canada currently has about 40 public CNG fueling stations and a small handful of public LNG stations from B.C. to Quebec. According to the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Centre, (DOE), the U.S. currently has approximately 602 public CNG stations and 33 public LNG stations.

The total number (about 675) of public natural gas fueling stations across Canada and the U.S. doesn’t include the number of private depot-based refueling stations used by fleets, government vehicles and heavy-duty truck owners. With these, industry organizations estimate 1,311 for both private and public CNG and LNG stations across the two countries. These numbers may seem small in comparison to the upwards of 150,000 gasoline stations across the U.S. alone, but it’s the rate at which natural gas stations are popping up that’s impressive.

A few of the industry leaders are working to propel the development of new fueling infrastructure in response to the significant rise in NGV adoption.

Public Relations Manager at Clean Energy Fuels Patric Rayburn says refuse, transit and airport/shuttle fleets have been the largest adopters of natural gas fuel for transportation and the heavy-duty trucking sector is now gaining momentum in its transition to the fuel.

“In June 2007 the 9 L natural gas engine was introduced; in 2008 approximately 3 percent of new refuse trucks purchased were fueled by natural gas. In 2013 that number is north of 60 percent. Such significant adoption was driven by the fact that owners saw significant fuel savings which resulted in compelling payback times on their natural gas fleet investment.”

Though Clean Energy’s focus is in fleet vehicles, Patric comments that the availability of the right sized engines for each of the transportation sectors is a key for wider vehicle adoption. “Ford’s launch of the F-150 featuring the Westport WiNG™ Power System is a vote of confidence for natural gas as a transportation fuel.”
Clean Energy's Natural Gas Highway. 
Clean Energy owns many of America’s current natural gas fueling stations and is building what it calls “America’s Natural Gas Highway” (ANGH) to make goods movement fueled by natural gas possible from coast to coast and boarder to boarder throughout the United States. Many of

these stations are located at Pilot-Flying J locations and with the first phase of ANGH completed in 2012, their aim was achieved.

“Last year we built 70 new ANGH stations and we plan to build another 30 to 50 stations by the end of 2013. We’re ready to support heavy-duty trucking’s continued transition to cleaner and cheaper natural gas,” Patric added.

To ensure there is a sufficient LNG supply for the new stations, Clean Energy operates two existing LNG plants and is purchasing two natural gas liquefaction plants from General Electric Oil and Gas (GE) featuring its Micro LNG technology; these are slated to come online in 2015.

Other LNG expansion projects include Blu LNG’s target to build at least 50 LNG fueling stations for trucks across the U.S. Shell and TravelCenters of America LLC’s (TA) have also announced they are working together to construct at least two LNG fueling lanes at up to 100 of their existing stations across the U.S.

CNG’s presence at American fuel retailers is also growing thanks to GE and Chesapeake Energy’s 2012 announcement to build more than 250 CNG fueling units aptly named, “CNG In A Box”. The eight foot by 20 foot plug-and-play style containers are designed to simplify and expedite the fueling process for both retailers and NGV owners. The units can be set up wherever there is a natural gas pipeline as they come ready to go with all of the necessary compressors, motors and dispensers.

To enhance the convenience of owning a natural gas vehicle, GE along with companies such as Eaton Corporation and BRC FuelMaker, maker of the “Phill” home fueling device, are working to improve the design and affordability of at-home fueling appliances with target prices around $500. The appliances connect to the homeowner’s natural gas line and power outlet and can be left overnight to fill a vehicle with CNG.

The companies’ efforts are backed in part by varying funding from the U.S. Department of Energy as it pushes to make the transition to natural gas vehicles more appealing.

Canada’s natural gas fueling landscape saw progress in March 2013 when Shell Canada and Flying J opened Canada’s first public LNG refueling station in Calgary. The station’s LNG supply will come from a Shell production facility west of Calgary. By the end of 2013, Shell aims to have this facility supply the first three public LNG Shell Flying J LNG truck stops in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton.

From peppering major freight trucking corridors with LNG stations to developing domestic CNG fueling appliances, the growing prevalence of fueling options is tackling one of the main hurdles that’s been delaying the adoption of NGV’s from consumers and fleet owners alike.

For more information on natural gas station locations check out:
(U.S. map)
(Canadian map)