March 22, 2002
Canadian company to collaborate with BMW on hydrogen engine
Vancouver, B.C. – Westport Innovations Inc. announced that it has signed a collaborative agreement with BMW AG of Munich, Germany to support BMW’s hydrogen vehicle engine development program.
Under the agreement, Westport will provide fuel injection hardware and engineering support, including a set of prototype Westport hydrogen fuel injectors. BMW AG will use a research engine to test the Westport fuel injectors. Westport retains the intellectual property rights for the injectors, a revised version of Westport’s patented and proprietary direct injection technology for light-duty natural gas engines. BMW AG will substantially fund the costs of this program.
“BMW is the acknowledged world leader in hydrogen internal combustion engines,” said David Demers, Westport’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Westport natural gas injectors, and our direct injection experience, are the perfect stepping stones to the development of high performance hydrogen fuel systems.”
Patric Ouellette, Westport’s Chief Scientist, added, “natural gas, because it is economic and available today, is a more immediate solution for low-emissions engines. As hydrogen infrastructure develops, we think hydrogen engines will provide better performance than the combination of fuel cells and electric engines for clean-energy vehicles.”
The cost of the BMW program and the price for the Westport hardware and engineering support were not disclosed. The agreement runs to September 2003. BMW AG is one of the lead automotive partners in the European Integrated Hydrogen Project Phase II (EIHP2) and has been conducting day-to-day trials with hydrogen-powered vehicles for decades. More information about BMW’s hydrogen program is available on the Internet at http://www.bmwgroup.com/cleanenergy.
Westport Innovations is the leading developer of gaseous fuel systems for diesel engines. Westport’s strategy is to cooperate with engine manufacturers on technology development. For light-duty engines, Westport also has cooperative agreements with Ford Motor Company and Isuzu Motors Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan. For heavy-duty engines, Westport has a joint venture with Cummins Inc. of Columbus, Indiana and a cooperation agreement with MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG of Munich.