JV is aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of Westport's HPDI fuel system technology. [Image: CNW Group/Westport Fuel Systems]

By Dale Lunan

European truck manufacturer Volvo Group and Vancouver’s Westport Fuel Systems said June 3 they had closed their joint venture transaction aimed at accelerating the global commercialisation of Westport’s HPDI™ fuel system technology.

The HPDI™ (High Pressure Direct Injection) technology is a fuel system that enables the use of carbon-neutral or zero-carbon fuels like biogas or hydrogen instead of greenhouse gas emitting fuels like diesel. The technology can also be used in LNG-fueled vehicles.

The Volvo-Westport joint venture will be led on an interim basis by Westport CEO Dan Sceli, Scott Baker, who will take on the role of vice president, product development and technology officer, and Anders Johansson, who will be vice president and commercial officer. The joint venture will be headquartered in Vancouver.

“The successful closing of the joint venture represents an important milestone for Westport and a true endorsement of our HPDI technology and fuel system,” Sceli said. “Together, we will accelerate the commercial adoption of HPDI for OEMs globally by leveraging the HPDI fuel system to its fullest potential.”

HPDI technology, he added, is uniquely poised to create and implement affordable decarbonisation solutions in hard to abate sectors like heavy-duty transport and off-road applications.

“As we embark on our joint venture together, we are confident that, we can bring sustainable solutions forward, using the internal combustion engine, running on renewable fuels now and hydrogen in the future,” said Lars Stenqvist, Chief Technology Officer of Volvo Group. “We…are committed to driving the transition to decarbonise transportation and this new HPDI joint venture enables us to accelerate the adoption of combustion engines powered by hydrogen and renewable fuels for long-haul and off-road applications in partnership with Westport.”

The joint venture will operate as an independent entity with Westport contributing certain HPDI™ assets and activities including related fixed assets, intellectual property, and business, into the joint venture. Volvo Group has acquired a 45% interest in the joint venture for approximately US$28mn, plus up to an additional US$45mn as an earn-out depending on the subsequent performance of the joint venture.   

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