PLYMOUTH, MI – Westport Innovations Inc., a natural gas engine provider, took its first natural gas pickup truck on a four-day road trip across the Eastern U.S., which started May 21.

Driving entirely on compressed natural gas (CNG), a team from Westport Innovations is making the 700-mile drive in the brand new Westport WiNG powered bi-fuel Ford F-250 Super Duty truck. The natural gas-powered Ford F-250 has a 300-mile driving range on CNG alone, and a 650-mile range with both CNG and gasoline tanks full.

"This drive is a chance to highlight all the advantages CNG offers as a fuel for light trucks," said John Howell, senior director, marketing and development, Westport LD. "It specifically shows that natural gas availability is growing, and it's possible to make very long journeys by planning your fuel stops in advance."

On May 21, the "Where in the World is Westport WiNG?" tour stopped in Ohio at Valley Ford Truck Sales (Cleveland) and SARTA-Clean Energy (Canton); then moved on to Pennsylvania on May 22 at Allegheny Ford Truck Sales (Pittsburgh) and May 23 at John Kennedy Ford (Pottstown).

The tour’s last stop will be May 24 in New York City Times Square from 1-5 p.m. Follow the road trip at or on Twitter @WestportWiNG.

Bi-fuel capability, provided by the Westport WiNG Power System, eliminates the risk or anxiety in long distance driving, to the manufacturer.

"The new Westport Wing Power System available through Ford continues to show that the OEMs are serious about using CNG and LNG as a transportation fuel," said Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities Executive Director Rick Price. "Westport, who has been in the leader for years in the heavy duty market, brings its technology to the light duty market. We are excited because fleets are interested in CNG and LNG in this area and numerous refueling stations are to be installed in the next two years. Alternative fueled vehicles are definitely on the increase in Western Pennsylvania."

As a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM), Westport LD has developed an advanced, fully integrated, bi-fuel system that meets or exceeds original equipment manufacturing (OEM) standards. The WiNG Power System is designed, built, installed and delivered key ready to customers through Westport LD authorized Ford dealers/distributors and is covered by the Ford warranty.

Westport WiNG powered Ford F-250s and F-350s will begin delivery to customers this quarter, with the capacity to help fleet and individual drivers lower their fuel costs significantly.

Volvo Trucks also recently unveiled its plans to launch a 13L heavy-duty natural gas engine featuring Westport high pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology. The product is scheduled to launch for the North American market in 2014.