Westport (WPRT) Stock Gains After Co. Teams with Tata Motors (TTM)

February 12, 2014 10:07 AM EST Send to a Friend
Westport Innovations (NASDAQ: WPRT), engineering the world's most advanced natural gas engines and vehicles, and Tata Motors Limited (NYSE; TTM), India's largest automobile company, today launched a new spark-ignited (SI) natural gas 3.8L turbocharged engine featuring the Westport WP580 Engine Management System (EMS). Designed to support many engine configurations, the Westport WP580 EMS is also scheduled 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."

"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."

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicates that India is the fourth largest energy consumer in the world. Vehicles are the country's second-largest consumer of energy (18%) after industry (42%), according to Thomson Reuters Foundation, and rising vehicle numbers and fuel prices have implications both for India's economy and its energy security. Westport believes that the adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel will help reduce India's dependence on petroleum to meet the country's energy demand 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.

The Westport WP580 EMS is a highly configurable system that has been specifically developed for spark ignited, dedicated natural gas engine applications and can be integrated with a wide range of proprietary Westport fuel system components for flexible vehicle design and production. Its advanced combustion control technology can optimize the engine for class leading fuel economy, torque, and power while meeting existing and future emissions and onboard diagnostic requirements. Westport has also set a new benchmark with the WP580, with industry leading price performance and value, allowing natural gas vehicles to be competitively priced with petroleum-based vehicles.

Key features of Westport WP580 EMS:

Unique engine control strategies: The Westport WP580 EMS is specifically tailored to maximize the performance of the base engine. Key benefits include reduced fuel consumption and emissions, increased vehicle load carrying capabilities with launch torque, and integrated vehicle functionality.

Compatible and cost-effective design with natural gas components: With proven OEM track record, these natural gas components such as electronic control units and spark plugs have been fully validated for the application and manufactured to automotive industry quality standards resulting in high levels of reliability and lower cost.

Meeting current and future emissions profile: The system is designed to meet Euro VI emission standards.

Tata's SI natural gas 3.8L turbocharged engine featuring the Westport WP580 EMS was displayed at India's Auto Expo in New Delhi, India, from February 7 to 11.

Market Opportunity India is one of the world's largest commercial vehicles markets. Its total annual light-duty vehicle fleet and commercial sales are projected to reach over 204,000 units in 2014 according to the Natural Gas Vehicles report published by Navigant Research in June 2013. In addition, its total annual medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus sales are projected to reach over 289,000 units in 2014, according to the Natural Gas Trucks and Buses report published by Navigant Research at the end of 2013. Tata's 3.8L and 5.7L engine with Westport WP580 EMS are primarily targeted for light-duty vehicles and medium-duty buses in India. The combined addressable market is projected to be more than 493,000 units in 2014 based on Westport analysis.


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