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China’s First Engine with Westport(TM) High Pressure Direct Injection Technology Unveiled during China National People’s Congress

March 13, 2012

BEIJING, CHINA, March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Westport Innovations Inc.
(TSX:WPT / NASDAQ:WPRT), the global leader in natural gas engines,
today announced the introduction of China’s first natural gas engine
featuring Westport high pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology at
a press conference at the government building in Beijing, the Beijing
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Speaking at the press conference was Tan
Xuguang, Weichai Power Chairman and David Demers, Westport CEO in
addition to members from the Ministry of Science and Technology and
from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The
innovative technological achievement and product introduction is the
result of China’s first joint venture for HPDI natural gas
engines–Weichai Westport Inc.–and fills a gap in the natural gas engine
market for heavy-duty trucks. Based on the Weichai Power WP12 engine
platform, the 12-litre engine features Westport HPDI technology which
maintains the power and performance of the base diesel engine, but
allows the replacement of up to 95% of diesel fuel with cleaner
burning, less expensive natural gas.

“Weichai Power is committed to an economic and environmental
transportation solution to address China’s environmental protection
policy,” said Tan Xuguang, Chairman of Weichai Power. “Our
technological research and development has been at the forefront of
China’s internal combustion engine industry. By relying on its powerful
production and technological capabilities, it has been engaging in
extensive development with renowned international companies, like
Westport, in the field of natural gas engines.”

The Weichai Westport HPDI engine is currently undergoing road testing
with a select OEM customer, Shaanxi Automobile Group. The low cost of
natural gas, combined with the large amount of domestic reserves, make
it an attractive transportation fuel source for China. Using the
Weichai Westport HPDI engine, fleet customers can achieve significant
economic benefits based on the following criteria:

        --  The price of natural gas, on a diesel gallon equivalent basis,
            is far lower than that of diesel;
        --  the load control of the engine with no throttle valve saves
            fuel; and
        --  the high-pressure direct injection nozzle is designed according
            to the common rail injection engine to further enhance
            performance, reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise.

“There are enormous potential fuel savings to be made if Chinese fleets
adopt natural gas technology for transportation,” said David Demers,
CEO of Westport Innovations. “The successful progress of the Weichai
Westport HPDI engine marks a historic shift in technology and engine
development in China.”

Since the joint venture was established in 2008, Weichai Westport has
focused on developing natural gas engine technology for heavy-duty
vehicles and city buses. Since its establishment, technical teams from
both Westport Innovations and Weichai Power have worked together to
develop technology to suit the specific needs of the Chinese market,
and support the government’s environmental protection policy. Currently
in China, spark ignited natural gas engines comprise the majority of
alternative fuel sales.

From a technical perspective, the Weichai Westport HPDI engine delivers
the same power and torque (WP12HPDI Landking engine’s rated power is at
480hp/2100rpm, with maximum torque of 1970N.m/1200 ~ 1500rpm) as that
of the original diesel engine, and identical performance as that of the
diesel engine. The engine’s power and torque is 20% and 20-25% higher
than that of the spark ignition natural gas engines respectively.
Hence, it solves the problem of large plateau power loss for gas
engines.

According to the Weichai Power’s most recent Annual Report, Weichai
holds approximately 40 percent of the heavy duty truck engine market
for trucks over 14 tonnes. According to Weichai’s August 2011 Interim
Report, they sold over 200,000 heavy-duty engines for the six months
ended June 30, 2011. In 2010, heavy duty truck sales in China exceeded
1 million units, according to the Weichai Power August 2011 Interim
Report.

About Westport Innovations Inc.

Westport Innovations Inc. is a leading global supplier of proprietary
solutions that allow engines to operate on clean-burning fuels such as
compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen,
and renewable natural gas (RNG) fuels such as landfill gas and help
reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Westport technology offers
advanced LNG fueling systems with direct injection natural gas engine
technology for heavy-duty vehicles such as highway trucks and off-road
applications such as mining and rail.  Cummins Westport, our joint
venture with Cummins Inc., designs, engineers and markets spark-ignited
natural gas engines for North American urban work vehicles such as
buses and refuse trucks. The Westport LD division is one of the global
leaders for natural gas and LPG fuel in passenger cars, light-duty
trucks and industrial applications such as forklifts. To learn more
about our business, visit our website, subscribe to our RSS feed, or
follow us on Twitter @WestportWPRT.

Note: This document contains forward-looking statements about Westport’s
business, operations, technology development or the environment in
which it operates, which are based on Westport’s estimates, forecasts
and projections. These statements include specifically, statements
regarding the timing for product launch, the price of natural gas and
savings based on a conversion to natural gas as a transportation fuel. 
These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve
known and unknown risks and uncertainties that are difficult to
predict, or are beyond Westport’s control including the development of
competing products and technologies, availability and supply of natural
gas, price and supply of gasoline, timing for certifications, timing of
execution of agreements with distributors, and other risk factors and
assumptions that may affect our actual results, performance,
achievements. Consequently, readers should not place any undue reliance
on such forward-looking statements. In addition, these forward-looking
statements relate to the date on which they are made. Westport
disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise except as required by National Instrument
51-102. The contents of any website, RSS feed or Twitter account
referenced in this press release are not incorporated by reference
herein.

SOURCE Westport Innovations Inc.


Source: PR Newswire