Cummins Inc. is expanding its powertrain platforms, leveraging a range of lower carbon fuel types. As the industry’s first unified, fuel-agnostic engines, these platforms will use engine blocks and core components that share common architectures and will be optimized for different low-carbon fuel types, such as natural gas and hydrogen.
“Getting to zero is not a light-switch event. Carbon emissions that we put into the atmosphere today will have a lasting impact. This means anything we can do to start reducing the carbon footprint today is a win for the planet. We need to take action now,” said Srikanth Padmanabhan, President, Cummins Engine Business. “Having a variety of lower carbon options is particularly important considering the variation in duty cycles and operating environments across the many markets we serve. There is no single solution or “magic bullet” that will work for all application types or all end users.”
These new fuel-agnostic engine platforms will feature a series of engine versions that are derived from a common base engine, which means they have a high degree of parts commonality. Below the head gasket of each engine will largely have similar components and above the head gasket will have different components for different fuel types. Each engine version will operate using a different, single fuel.
This new design approach will be applied across the company’s legendary B, L and X-Series engine portfolios, which will be available for diesel, natural gas and hydrogen.
“This is a new way of designing and developing lower emission internal combustion powertrains that meet the unique needs of the transportation industry while leveraging the benefits of a common product architecture and footprint where possible,” said Jonathon White, Vice President of Engineering, Engine Business. “This unique technology approach will allow end users to more seamlessly pick the right powertrain for their application with the lowest CO2 impact.”
Parts commonality will offer increased benefits for both truck OEMs and end users, including similar engine footprints, diagnoses and service intervals. This means it will be easier for OEMs to integrate a variety of fuel types across the same truck chassis and there will be minimal costs to train technicians and re-tool service locations, resulting in a lower total cost of ownership for the end user.
These fuel-agnostic platforms are designed and built-upon the learnings extracted from millions of diesel and natural gas engines manufactured and currently in-use. Today’s digital and connected technologies allow Cummins to extract insights specific to different engine duty cycles, and leverage these to design reliable fuel-agnostic platforms.
“Our customers can be confident in Cummins’ unmatched testing and evaluation process ensuring high-performance products,” said White. “No matter what type of work a fleet does, we’ll have an engine powered by lower carbon fuels with diesel-like performance to get the job done.”