Cat inks engine development deal with Westport

Natural gas engines, which have enjoyed a surge in popularity for big trucks, may soon be coming to a dozer near you.

The Vancouver Sun reported today that Caterpillar has teamed up with Westport Innovations to develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment. Cat will fund the program while the Vancouver-based Westport supplies components and products.

Westport is well known for its joint venture, natural gas engines with Cummins, which power many of today’s highway haul and vocational trucks.

In addition to new natural gas engines,  Caterpillar says there is potential to retrofit existing off-road diesel engines to natural gas as well.