Westport will debut LNG bi-fuel F-550 this week

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Westport debuted a gasoline/liquefied natural gas (LNG) bi-fuel  Ford F-550 at the ICUEE Demo Expo in Louisville, Ky. 

The concept vehicle is believed to be the first of its kind, and will feature the Westport iCE PACK LNG Tank System, designed for use with spark ignited vehicles.

The LNG configuration is a sister product to the Westport WiNG Power System, which is bi-fuel using compressed natural gas (CNG) or gasoline.

John Howell, Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development at Westport, says the LNG bi-fuel opens doors for fleets with a mixture of heavy- and light-duty trucks who want to embrace greener technologies. 

“This would be a vehicle for companies that want to operate purely on LNG, because they’ve got both heavy duty and light duty fleets,” he says. “It’s a prototype and would appeal to a very specialized type of customer, because not everyone will need this.”

Current industry standard systems require warm (saturated) LNG, however, the Westport iCE PACK offers flexibility with to carry both cold and warm LNG. Cold LNG can extend fuel storage times and improve vehicle range by up to 10 percent.

Assembled at Westport’s technical centre in Plymouth, Michigan, the concept vehicle features a lengthened service body and 70 gallon tank. While Westport iCE PACK was originally developed as a product for Class 8 over the road vehicles – and optimized for the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine – Westport says the idea for this configuration was raised by a major fleet company currently using LNG, who were interested to see if it could be done.

“It was an opportunity for Westport to demonstrate our ability to innovate and be flexible,” says Steve Anderson, Vice President of Business Development at Westport. “In the past, this wasn’t an option for light duty vehicles, but with iCE PACK we now have a low pressure LNG system. We’re interested to see what kind of interest there is from other fleets similar to our prototype partner.”