Westport and Tata Motors launch: Natural Gas Engine features Westport WP580 Engine Management System

Westport Innovations (TSX:WPT / NASDAQ:WPRT) and Tata Motors Limited have launched a new spark-ignited (SI) natural gas 3.8L turbocharged engine that features Westport WP580 Engine Management System (EMS). Designed to support many engine configurations, Westport WP580 EMS is to be applied to Tata’s 5.7L engine targeting medium-duty applications in late 2014.

“By combining our unique technology and Tata’s leadership in India’s commercial vehicles market, we are able to introduce new natural gas products and target the mainstream transportation markets in one of the world’s fastest growing markets for natural gas vehicles,” said Thomas Rippon, Executive Vice President of Westport. “The Westport WP580 offers breakthrough price, performance, and flexibility for OEMs allowing them to use this advanced technology even in cost-effective markets such as China and India.”

landscape-wide“India has one of the largest natural gas light-duty vehicle fleets in the world, and we see an enormous opportunity for natural gas trucks and buses with the development of fueling infrastructure,” said Rajendra Petkar, Head Power Systems Engineering, ERC of Tata Motors. “By expanding our portfolio of natural gas engines, we are focused on increasing our market share of the natural gas vehicle and engine market.”

Increasing number of vehicles and fuel prices have implications both for India’s economy, and its energy security. Westport believes use of natural gas as a transportation fuel will help reduce India’s dependence on petroleum, and improve local air quality challenges. Building upon Westport’s natural gas components and aftermarket business in India, Westport is now establishing its OEM footprint with Tata Motors.