Cummins Inc. unveiled its latest innovation, a heavy-duty truck with fuel cell and battery electric power. The demonstration vehicle was showcased at the 2019 North America Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta. Cummins’ strategy is to provide their customers with a broad portfolio of power options, including natural gas, hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell solutions.
“Developing this cutting-edge hydrogen fuel cell truck as a technology demonstrator is an important step in gaining valuable insights that are critical to continue developing the right solutions for the market and preparing for the next 100 years,” said Thad Ewald, Vice President, Corporate Strategy at Cummins. “In the long-run, the customers we serve will likely need more than one type of power, depending on their specific markets, applications and use cases.”
The zero-emissions Class 8, 6×4 day cab tractor is a technology demonstrator suitable for vocational applications, including regional haul, urban delivery operations, port drayage and terminal container handling.
The truck was designed and integrated by Cummins in Columbus, Indiana and includes a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell from Hydrogenics. The truck was designed for a 90-kW fuel cell and is scalable in 30 kW or 45 kW increments up to 180 kW, and also has a 100-kWh lithium-ion battery capacity. The truck has a range of 150 to 250 miles between filling up, however, that range can be extended with additional hydrogen tanks, by increasing the tank storage pressure or installing additional fuel cells to optimize management of the vehicle load factor. Many of the critical components of the powertrain, including the PEM fuel cell, system controller, powertrain controls, wire harnesses and junction boxes, among others, were designed and developed by Cummins.
To help all original equipment manufacturing (OEM) customers and end user envision how Cummins’ fuel cell power can enable their success, the truck has been intentionally designed without collaboration from any of the company’s OEM partners.
Cummins has made several recent announcements around fuel cells like the acquisition of Hydrogenics and an agreement with Hyundai Motor Company to collaborate on hydrogen fuel cell technology across commercial markets in North America.