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Westport, Delphi Automotive to commercialize natural gas injector technology

Published 04 March 2014

Westport Innovations Inc, engineering the world's most advanced natural gas engines and vehicles, today announced a joint development agreement with Delphi Automotive PLC to help entrench Westport high pressure direct injection (Westport HPDI) as the leading natural gas technology platform for heavy-duty engine applications.

Through the agreement, Westport and Delphi will combine their intellectual property and engineering strengths to co-develop and manufacture high-pressure natural gas fuel injectors designed for multiple engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The first in a family of injectors to be developed will be one of the core components of Westport's recently announced HPDI 2.0 fuel system. Delphi is one of few global injector manufacturers capable of producing fuel system components demanded by heavy-duty diesel engine OEMs.

Under the agreement:

  • Westport is combining over twenty years of natural gas high-pressure direct injection research with Delphi's deep, comprehensive and innovative powertrain technology portfolio to create and manufacture a mass-market-ready natural gas injector to power multiple engine platforms.
  • Westport will be investing in critical equipment including but not limited to tooling, manufacturing, assembly, and end of line test equipment within Delphi's state of the art, global production footprint. The investment was previously identified in Westport's prospectus in September 2013 for dedicated production equipment of proprietary natural gas engine fuel injection equipment and will enable Westport to deliver high volumes of injectors for multiple OEM applications ranging from trucks to trains.
  • Delphi will provide injector designers and engineering resources to work with Westport's experts to optimize design, development, manufacturing, and assembly of the injectors.
  • Based on current OEM projections, Delphi and Westport are intending to invest in and develop annual production capacity in excess of 100,000 injectors within the next 4 years.
  • Intellectual property rights arising from the development program will be jointly owned by Delphi and Westport and maintained by Westport.

Key injector features include:

  • Simplified design and smaller footprint: The single actuator design allows for simplified adaptability to multiple engine OEMs for various applications, resulting in lower development and product costs.
  • Higher performance: Superior actuator performance obtained by using Delphi's high-performance twin valve technology results in increased flow capacity and compatibility with high power and high power density applications.
  • Improved reliability and longer life: The combination of optimised design and proven Delphi technology results in industry standard reliability and durability.
  • Lower cost: Cost of the new injector is expected to be significantly lower than current HPDI injectors, meeting both the commercial and performance demands of diverse markets globally from Europe to North America to China.

"Our agreement and investment with Delphi combines intellectual property with global production capacity at one of the world's most sophisticated injector facilities," said David Demers, CEO of Westport. "Delphi's support for natural gas fuel systems and Westport HPDI means having an integrated and dedicated manufacturing partner to develop and produce components that will help create a landmark product with industry defining pricing, quality and performance characteristics for global engine OEMs."

"Delphi sees natural gas as an important part of mainstream transportation and believes that Westport HPDI will be the industry standard technology for natural gas-powered heavy-duty applications," said Jeff Owens, chief technology officer of Delphi. "Working with Westport to create a highly scalable, quality production partnership and reduce system pricing for HPDI is a great opportunity to help change the trucking world."

Source: Company Press Release