Westport Innovations to Showcase Hydrogen-Blend Buses

October 13, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Westport Innovations Inc. (Vancouver, BC) announced its participation in the launch of an $18.3 million hydrogen technologies project supported by the Government of Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), and a consortium of Vancouver-based industry partners. Led by Sacre-Davey Innovations Inc., the three-year Integrated Waste Hydrogen Utilization Project (IWHUP) received a contribution of $6 million from the Hydrogen Early Adopters program, $5.9 million from SDTC, and $273,000 from Natural Resources Canada's Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance. This support has been leveraged by a contribution of $6.1 million from industry for a total project value of $18.3 million.

The IWHUP will demonstrate clean energy solutions that make use of an existing, but currently untapped, source of hydrogen fuel -- hydrogen emitted as the by-product of a sodium-chlorate manufacturing plant in the North Vancouver area. The purified hydrogen could be used to continually fuel a fleet of up to 20,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles in the Vancouver area, greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, local air pollutants, and the use of fossil fuels. The demonstration will initially involve the operation of eight light-duty trucks running on hydrogen; a fuel cell system operating on hydrogen and providing electrical power and heat to a car wash, and four public transit buses converted by Westport for Vancouver's TransLink fleet to run on a blend of hydrogen and compressed natural gas (HCNG).

Westport Innovations President Michael Gallagher stated, "So much of our public transportation system relies on petroleum-based fuels, so it makes absolute sense to capitalize on all available clean-burning alternatives. These projects are a springboard to a lower-carbon, gaseous fuel future that will include HCNG as well as pure hydrogen vehicles. We are fortunate in British Columbia to have the opportunity to advance the use of hydrogen as a vehicle fuel by leveraging our significant experience and investment in natural gas infrastructure and technology."