Canadian natural gas engine maker Westport Innovations and truck manufacturer Isuzu Motors of Tokyo plan to build a prototype Isuzu ELF natural-gas powered truck. The technology may eventually be used in Isuzu trucks sold in the United States.
The project, initiated and funded by Isuzu, will use a diesel engine in the 4-liter range that runs solely on natural gas. The goal of this project is to build a natural gas-powered commercial truck that achieves the same performance and fuel efficiency as its diesel counterpart, but with lower emissions and fuel costs.
The ELF light-duty commercial truck would have a payload capacity of two to three tons and would be used for applications such as city deliveries, food services and light contracting. Isuzu plans to demonstrate a prototype to the Japanese government by June 2003.