Cummins Westport Inc. today announced its partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in an agreement that will provide $592,000 in cost-sharing to advance development of a new low-emissions natural gas engine for transit and urban truck markets. The cost-sharing agreement will provide funding to offset costs for developing the 8.9-litre L Gas Plus natural gas engine. Scheduled for release in mid-2004, this spark-ignited 320 horsepower engine will be added to Cummins Westport's line of alternative fuel engines for truck and bus applications. This includes the 8.3-liter, 250-280 horsepower C Gas Plus natural gas engine, the 5.9-liter, 195-230 horsepower B Gas Plus natural gas engine, and the newly launched 195 horsepower B LPG Plus propane engine.Hugh Foden, President of Cummins Westport, said, "There is growing need from transit customers for a higher output, low-emissions engine."Foden singled out transit agencies that operate large 60-foot articulated buses or that have transit routes where extra performance is required as key customers for the L Gas Plus. "With this new spark-ignited engine, Cummins Westport offers the widest range of natural gas engines in the market, which means greater choice and availability for our customers," said Foden. The L Gas Plus is expected to be certified at 1.2 grams of oxides of nitrogen per brake-horsepower hour. This represents a reduction of more than 40% over the best equivalent clean diesel engines certified to date. It is also expected to emit 90% less particulate matter than the coming 2004 ceilings established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).