Westport to halt orders for its 15 liter

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Westport Chief Executive Officer David Demers said Wednesday the company plans stop taking orders for its 15 liter liquefied natural gas engine in two weeks.

“…the current generation of HPDI, which is on the Westport 15 liter engine, we still assemble that in Vancouver using an upfit process as we shift to OEM HPDI products,” he says. “We have agreed with Kenworth and Peterbilt that the last day for orders for the 2013 certification of the 15 (liter engine) is going to be Nov. 15, 2013.”

Going forward, the company will seek to partner with truck makers as their own natural gas plans unfold, a strategy the company had dubbed HPDI 2.0.

“We are going to be unveiling what we call HPDI 2.0, the architecture for heavy duty engines, over the next few weeks,” he says. “We have reengineered the entire system to make it manufacturable, scalable, applicable to a broad variety of engines and, perhaps most important, we expect to see a dramatic decrease in system cost.”

The move comes in stark contrast to Westport’s stance earlier this month, as the company was adamant they would continue to produce the 15 liter engine as long as there was demand. 

Westport Communications Specialist Erica Simpson says the decision was made to shift focus after evaluating future demand for the engines, which Demers said failed to reach a financial break-even point in the U.S. 

Demers adds Westport plans to launch a 13 liter Volvo product with Westport HPDI next year as the company looks to make its technologies available to all vertically integrated truck OEMs. 

“Our stated long-term business model is to work with OEMs and their supply chains to deliver Westport content to the market,” he says. 

Simpson says components for the 15 liter with Westport first generation HPDI technology remaining after Nov. 15 will primarily be used for parts and service. Any extras could potentially be used in aftermarket kits.