Cummins Westport Inc. of Vancouver, B.C., has been selected by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of Los Angeles County to provide its low-emissions L Gas Plus natural gas engine for an order of up to 600 buses. Initially the transit authority will purchase 200 buses equipped with the L Gas Plus engine, with the right to increase the order to 600 if certain options are exercised.Cummins Westport is a joint venture of Cummins Inc. and Westport Innovations Inc. It develops and markets low-emissions alternative fuel engines manufactured by Cummins. “With the options, this is the largest order Cummins Westport has received to date and the first order for the new 320-horsepower L Gas Plus,” says Hugh Foden, president of Cummins Westport. “We are pleased to be filling our 2005 backlog with such a significant order.”The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of Los Angeles County has ordered the Cummins Westport 8.9-liter L Gas Plus natural gas engines for installation in 60-foot, low-floor articulating buses, manufactured by North American Bus Industries (NABI) of Anniston, Ala. The first of these buses will be delivered by mid-2005 with remaining deliveries through 2006. After delivery of the first 200 engines, 70% of the transit authority’s total fleet of 2400 buses will be powered by natural gas, making it one of the largest natural gas-powered transit bus fleets in the world. The commercial launch of the L Gas Plus engine is planned for mid-2004.The L Gas Plus is targeted to achieve a level of 1.2 grams of oxides of nitrogen per brake-horsepower hour (g/bhp-hr). This represents a reduction of more than 40% over the best equivalent low-emissions diesel engines certified to date. It is also expected to be certified at 0.01 g/hp-hr for particulate matter without a particulate trap, which is 80% lower than the levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for transit buses.