Cummins Unveils Internal Combustion Engine Solutions

Cummins Inc. is expanding its powertrain platforms to take advantage of a range of low-carbon fuel types, the company announced during a virtual press conference. The unified, fuel-independent engines will use core engine blocks and components that share common architectures and will be optimized for different low-carbon fuel types. These new fuel-independent engine platforms will feature a series of engine versions derived from a common base engine, meaning they have a high degree of parts commonality.

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Below the head gasket each engine will have largely similar components and above the head gasket will have different components for different fuel types. Each engine version will run on a different and unique fuel. This new design approach will be applied to all of the company’s B-, L-, and X-series engine portfolios, which will be available for diesel, natural gas, and hydrogen. The engine platform will start rolling out in 2024.

The parts community will provide increased benefits to truck OEMs and end users, including similar engine footprints, diagnostics and service intervals, the engine OEM noted. These fuel-independent platforms are designed and built based on lessons learned from millions of diesel and natural gas engines manufactured and currently in use. Today’s digital and connected technologies enable Cummins to extract information specific to different engine operating cycles and leverage it to design reliable fuel-agnostic platforms.

The Cummins Commitment to Zero Emissions

These new products are an important part of Cummins’ strategy to go further, faster to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) and air quality impacts of its products and achieve net zero emissions. 2050 in a way that serves all stakeholders in a sustainable way for Cummins’ business, the company noted at the press conference. This commitment requires changes to Cummins products and the energy sources that power them.

Two of the company’s 2030 environmental sustainability goals include reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% over the absolute life of newly sold products and partnering with customers to reduce 55 million metric tons of Scope 3 GHG emissions from field products.

“Getting to zero [emissions] is not a light switch event. The carbon emissions we release into the atmosphere today will have a lasting impact. This means that anything we can do to start reducing our carbon footprint today is a win for the planet. We must act now,” said Srikanth Padmanabhan, President of Cummins Engine Business. “Having a variety of low-carbon options is especially important given the variation in duty cycles and operating environments across the many markets we serve. There is no single solution or “silver bullet” that will work for all types of applications or all end users.

Our point of view

Late last summer, I had the opportunity to speak with Cummins President and COO Jennifer Rumsey about the future of Cummins in an increasingly decarbonized industry. Rumsey was open, honest and direct about Cummins’ strategy. This announcement is the biggest example of an extremely tangible way that Cummins is addressing a growing focus on emissions reduction technology.

It is also an extremely important step.

Electric trucks are making headlines, but they currently only apply to a niche regional transport route. The broader decarbonization conversation needs to include diesel technology, because it’s what you use today and what you’ll buy tomorrow in many long-haul and professional applications. That’s not to say sustainability initiatives aren’t important, but both of these application examples are handcuffed by current technology. With this announcement, Cummins aims to lower the bar for entry into alternative fuels powered by low carbon fuels – a solution you can implement in your next truck buying cycle.

Take a look at my conversation with Rumsey and an overview of where the trucking industry is on decarbonization.

There was a lot of information to uncover, so stay tuned for an in-depth look at the products and what it could mean for the industry and Cummins.

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