Natural gas engine manufacturer Westport Innovations said it expects a "pause" in alternative-fueled truck engine orders during its next fiscal year, though it believes that delay won’t affect its revenue projections.
Vancouver, British Columnia-based Westport manufactures and sells natural gas powered truck engines through Cummins Westport, a joint venture with Columbus, IN-based Cummins. Cummins Westport, reported that natural gas truck engine sales have slowed unexpectedly in the wake of new diesel emission regulations put in place October 1.
"Build rates for natural gas fleet vehicles in the U.S. dropped in the second half of calendar 2002 as customers took delivery of conventional diesel- fueled products before stricter emissions standards came into effect October 1," said Cummins Westport president Hugh Foden. "The industry had anticipated that orders and deliveries would resume after October 1 at a higher rate than has materialized so far. Now it appears that it will take until at least the second calendar quarter of 2003 for U.S. natural gas vehicle build rates to recover to previous levels of growth."