Home Truck News Volvo, Westport form JV to advance HPDI fuel systems - Truck News

Volvo, Westport form JV to advance HPDI fuel systems – Truck News

Volvo Group and Westport have signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture that will help globalize and commercialize Westport’s HPDI fuel system technology for longhaul and off-road trucking applications.

Volvo itself will be a key customer of the joint venture, the companies announced, but the technology will be commercially available to other manufacturers. The High Pressure Direct Injection system is touted as a cost-effective way to slash CO2 in trucking applications.

Volvo FH
(Photo: Westport)

It also allows maximum commonality with diesel-fueled products. Diesel can be replaced with carbon-neutral or zero-carbon fuels such as biogas or hydrogen, while maintaining the durability, affordability, efficiency and performance characteristics of diesel, Westport claims.

Volvo itself has used its technology for five years in Europe. The technology falls just short of zero tailpipe emissions because a small amount of diesel pilot fuel is injected into the cylinder prior to the gas to initiate ignition. The benefits of HPDI are higher horsepower and torque. And Westport says the diesel pilot fuel can be substituted with other carbon-neutral fuels.

Deal terms

Under the deal, Westport contributes to the JV its HPDI assets and activities. Volvo takes a 45% interest in the JV for about US$28 million, with a further investment of up to US$45 million depending on the JV’s performance.

“Decarbonization with internal combustion engines running on renewable fuels, especially with HPDI, plays an important part in sustainable solutions. 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,” says Lars Stenqvist, chief technology officer of Volvo.

“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. Combining our expertise strengthens HPDI’s position in the market and underscores Westport’s commitment to developing affordable fuel system technology that supports significant CO2 reductions in hard-to-abate sectors like heavy-duty transport and off-road applications, including a pathway to power equipment with zero carbon fuels like hydrogen.”

HPDI schematic
(Graphic: Westport)

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