Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX:WPT / NASDAQ:WPRT), yesterday that is has acquired Alternative Fuel Vehicle Sweden AB (AFV) of Gothenburg, Sweden for approximately SEK 51 million (approximately US$7.6 million). AFV is the sole supplier of natural gas fuel systems to Volvo Car Company (VCC).
“Natural gas technology is playing an increasingly important role in European automotive markets, where there is a longstanding interest in cleaner, more economical transportation solutions,” said Ian Scott, President of Westport Light Duty (LD). “We have seen steadily growing demand in Sweden, particularly from corporate and fleet customers. As fuelling infrastructure continues to expand and more automakers offer natural gas options, we expect to see that trend to continue across Europe.”
Volvo dealers in Sweden have offered a bi-fuel 231-hp 2.5 litre turbocharged version of the popular V70 wagon, with the natural gas fuel system engineered and installed by AFV, since 2009. The Volvo V70 Bi-Fuel has been approved as a company car for Swedish businesses, and Swedish drivers can fuel up at more than one hundred public natural gas filling stations. In addition to emissions benefits, corporate and private customers are eligible for tax incentives that make natural gas an even more economical alternative. AFV now aims to expand into other European markets.
AFV was founded in 2009 by a team of former Volvo employees, AFV builds and installs the natural gas systems at facilities located inside VCC’s main production center in Gothenburg. In addition to close ties to management at both VCC and heavy duty vehicle producer Volvo AB, AFV has had strong support from one of Sweden’s leading energy suppliers, Göteborg Energi.