VANCOUVER, BC – Westport Innovations Inc., a leader in alternative fuel technologies, said it has entered into an agreement with General Motors to help develop advanced natural gas engine technology.

General Motors and Westport will develop natural gas engine controls, emissions and performance strategies.

“We are excited to work with GM and invest in advanced natural gas technology for the automotive market,” said Ian Scott, president of Westport’s Light-Duty Division. “This technology offers the promise of a cleaner, lower-cost fuel and reduced carbon footprint, while advancing the use of domestic energy.”

“Natural gas is 97 percent North American sourced and much less expensive than gasoline or diesel fuels,” said John Lapetz, Westport’s Light-Duty Division managing director for North American vehicle programs. “It also produces about 15-20 percent less CO2 than those fuels.”

To support OEM programs, Westport plans to add research and development facilities to develop technologies that enable vehicles to run on natural gas. Use of domestic energy, the creation of jobs and protection of the environment are all part of Westport’s business objectives.

“Hybridization, lower displacement with turbo charging, direct injection and other fuel-saving technologies now being applied to gasoline and diesel engines can also be applied to natural gas-fueled engines for even greater improvements in efficiency and fuel cost savings,” Lapetz said.