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Cummins readies next-gen, future commercial power


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Aaron Marsh, Fleet Owner  /  August 30, 2017

COLUMBUS, IN. With about 42,000 of Cummins, Inc.'s latest big-bore X15 Series diesel engines produced since their launch in January, the company unveiled the 15L platform's next evolution slated for availability in 2022 and showcased a range of energy-diverse products, including a fully electric, plug-in Class 7 truck.

The press event at Cummins Technical Center here in Columbus, the company's global headquarters, explored how the engine maker is positioning itself to be the supplier of choice across the spectrum of diesel, alternative and emerging engine and powertrain technologies for commercial vehicles. "We're ready to support the changes shaped by the regulatory environment and global concern for air quality and the need for a low-carbon future," said Jennifer Rumsey, vice president and chief technology officer at Cummins.

That includes heavy duty diesel engines the company said will meet tightening emissions and efficiency requirements going forward. With the 2017 X15 weighing in at 2,950 lbs., the next iteration of the engine is going to shave off some 300 lbs. from that and has essentially been designed to fit into a 13L engine's "shell," engineers explained. Reporters got a glimpse of the new engine in prototype form.

The goal is to deliver a 15L for 2022 that's capable of the same levels of horsepower, torque and durability but will weigh less and have a smaller footprint to allow for advanced fuel systems, emissions and after-treatment technology and placement — as well as being able to fit in new aerodynamic truck designs.

The upcoming Cummins X12 12L diesel, geared toward regional haul and weight-sensitive vocational trucking applications, will arrive in March 2018. It'll be available with ratings of 350-475 hp/ 1,250-1,700 lbs.-ft. of torque but weighs only about 2,050 lbs., which Cummins engineers said is roughly 600 lbs. lighter than the nearest 13L competitor and 150 lbs. lighter than even the nearest 11L competitor.

The coming X12 and current and next-gen X15 engines utilize Cummins compact Single Module Aftertreatment product. They also share parts such as oil filters and turbos to help reduce costs for fleets with a mix of vehicles and configurations.

Brett Merritt, executive director for on-highway business at Cummins, stressed the company's technical expertise and highlighted its wide product portfolio, noting the company is investing $700 million annually around the world in research and development.

"We have the largest on-highway product offering in the globe. From 2.8L to 15L, from natural gas to diesel, we offer a wide array of solutions for our customers," he said. According to Merritt, Cummins' 2017 engine lineup has helped it reach an 80% share of the medium-duty North American commercial truck market, largely thanks to the B6.7 and L9 engines.  

"Whether the application be RV, package van, fire truck or bus, people in the market are choosing Cummins," Merritt said. "This suite of engines has become near-ubiquitous in the bus market, both transit and school, where we've reached over 90% share." Meanwhile, Cummins claims more than 37% market share in powering North American Class 8 trucks, a market to which the company remains "absolutely committed," he added.

Alternatives and advancements

Although Cummins believes diesel will remain the power source of choice for North American trucking for decades to come, the company is continuing to develop and invest in alternative fuel engines and technologies. It will also offer integrated powertrain solutions through its recently formed Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies joint venture.

Stealing the show at the press event Tuesday was Cummins' "sneak peek" at the AEOS, a fully electric Class 7 demonstration truck with a max GVWR of 75,000 lbs. and a range of 100 miles per charge, which is extendable to 300 miles with additional battery modules. The truck features a Cummins Integrated Electrified Powertrain ahead of the company's 2019 target for market availability of such an electric option.

Cummins also showcased its development of a high-efficiency spark-ignited technology "that can deliver diesel-like performance and durability" across a range of liquid fuels from ethanol to methanol and gasoline and can meet "the most stringent emissions requirements." At the Columbus technical facility, Cummins operates 88 test cells running diesel, natural gas, gasoline, ethanol, hydrogen, propane and biodiesel engines and has also invested in and continues to explore fuel cell power.

Rob Neitzke, president of the Cummins Westport Inc. joint venture producing natural gas engines, pointed out that the latest Near-Zero 2018 powerplants — the B6.7N, L9N and ISX12N — are certified to the California Air Resources Board's NOx emission standards that are 90% lower than those of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He stressed the maturity of CNG technology as a fiscally viable option for the right markets and stability of natural gas prices, noting that fleets can purchase 3-4 year futures of the fuel.


The array of fuel and engine/powertrain options comes together with Cummins application of connectivity and data analytics. To that effect, Cummins formed a new internal organization in May led by Sherry Aaholm, chief information officer at Cummins, called the Digital Accelerator.

It's meant to streamline innovation and bring concepts from idea to commercialization faster and complements Cummins' Connectivity Solutions division formed 15 years ago.

Srikanth Padmanabhan, president of engine business at Cummins, explained that the point of the company's energy diversification in terms of commercial powertrains is to capitalize on disruptions globally while offering power solutions custom-tailored for individual markets and customers.

"We will be the powertrain provider of choice for our customers, regardless of what the powertrain choice is in the on- and off-highway world," he contended. "Connectivity and electrification as disruptions are here — and we will capitalize on those disruptions much as we have with the other disruptions over the last few decades."

Further, "we've succeeded in disruption because Cummins is a technology company that embraces change and capitalizes on that change with the right technology that matters for the marketplace and our customers," Padmanabhan said.

Whatever the fuel for commercial vehicles, Cummins sees a unifying factor in data and computer control. That will allow the company to send over-the-air updates to reconfigure powertrains based on customers' particular needs, for example, while bringing maintenance to the prognostic and proactive.   

"We are able to start to see patterns that emerge, and out of those patterns we able to take care of reactive solutions for our customers in a shorter and shorter time frame," Padmanabhan noted. "But more importantly, we are thinking about them in a prognostic way and a proactive way and can help our customers fix the problems that they should never have in the first place."

Going forward, Cummins sees a mix of internal combustion engines using a variety of fuels that will be necessary in the decades to come to meet commercial vehicle needs. But there will also be a variety of electric power based on geography, range/duty cycle and regulatory requirements, Padmanabhan contended, including fully electric, range-extended electric and hybrid electric configurations.

And Cummins is hoping its global reach and established relationships will give it an edge in providing that range of power and powertrain options. "We're the people that understand the industry, that know the marketplace and know the customer applications," he said. "Whatever is going to come in the next 15 years, we will do the right thing in terms of making sure that the right technology for our customers matters, not just technology for the sake of technology."


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Cummins Taking Long View on Alternative Power

Heavy Duty Trucking  /  August 30, 2017

COLUMBUS, IND. — For 98 years, Cummins has been powering trucks and buses around the globe, and the company said on Aug. 29 that it has every intention of being in that same position 98 years from now. Cummins executives stressed that they will continue to deliver the right powertrain for any marketplace anytime in the future, regardless of the energy source.

"Energy diversity is the key to the future, and a one-size-fits-all approach is no longer viable," said Jennifer Rumsey, vice president and chief technical officer. "At this point in time, we believe there is a place for a wide range of technologies from diesel and natural gas to electric.

"These technologies will evolve in the coming years," she continued, "and Cummins is capable and ready for this range of power technologies to meet our customers' needs today and in the future."

The message was clear; anyone who believes Cummins' best days are behind it had better think again. These are certainly good times for the engine maker, currently holding a 37% market share in the heavy-duty engine space where a heavy presence of captive engines can leave the independent engine maker at a pricing disadvantage.

Brett Merritt, executive director, EBU On-Highway Business, said the company commands nearly 80% of the North American medium-duty market and more than 90% of the school and transit bus markets.

"Cummins is a technology company, first and foremost," he said. "Whether you're talking about diesel combustion, emissions catalysis or controls integration, we have the technical expertise combined with market knowledge to deliver technical innovations in the future."

And to that end, the company is investing $700 million annually in research and development to stay on the leading edge of emerging technologies -- some of which involves marrying proven diesel technology with battery and electric technologies that meet regulatory requirements, societal demands, and customers' needs.  

Cummins is quite confident that diesel engines will be powering heavy trucks for many years to come, especially in the long-haul sector.

"Twenty years from now, we will still be using internal combustion engines running on conventional fuels or unconventional fuels," said Srikanth Padmanabhan, president of Cummins' Engine Business, noting that they may not be the engines that we are familiar with today. "By that time, all ICE will have some form of mild hybridization and/or accessory drives, but ICE will continue to be an important player in global transportation."

Padmanabhan said that whichever technologies may emerge in the next 15 to 20 years. it will be Cummins' responsibility to make sure customers get the right technology, not just a new technology for technology's sake,but something reliable and efficient that meets both the customers' and society's needs.

Energy Diversity

While electrification has seen very heavy exposure in the mainstream press in the past couple of years, Padmanabhan said Cummins has been working on this for over two decades.

"Electrification makes sense in some areas, but not all," he said. "We know from real data and real-life experience where it works, where it makes sense and why we should use it."

Cummins seems well placed to explore the potential for electrification because of its previous experience in power generation as well as engine design and development. Batteries supplemented with some form of high-efficiency, low-emission ICE seem best able to bridge the gap between 100-mile local trucks and 300-mile regional trucks.

The company is now developing a high-efficiency spark-ignited engine that it says can deliver diesel-like performance and durability across a range of liquid fuels, like ethanol, methanol, and gasoline, while meeting the most stringent emissions requirements.

Natural gas and diesel both figure prominently in this research.

Engineers and scientists are also investigating the viability of alternatives like bio-fuels, synthetic fuels, and hydrogen. And, with its partners, Cummins is looking at projects focused on Proton Exchange Membrane and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technologies.

"Cummins is partnering with a few different fuel cell providers to develop that technology," said Rumsey. "We have been working for a number of years on those technologies."

Diesel Still Has a Future

Next spring, Cummins will introduce the 12-liter X12 engine, which will boast the highest power-to-weight ratio in the industry. It's targeted at vocational, regional and weight-sensitive bulk-haul applications. It’s 600lbs lighter than the closest 13L engine and 150 lbs lighter than the closest 11L engine.

The X12 is derived from the ISG first introduced in 2013 as a global engine platform. It made its first appearance a year later in a joint venture with the world’s largest independent engine maker, Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd. of China. Foton now uses the ISG diesel in a new truck series developed with Daimler. Cummins said the engine in ISG trim already has more than a billion miles under its belt and is ready to take on North America.

While on a tour of the technical center, reporters were shown, but were not allowed to photograph, the next generation X15 engine, slated to launch in 2022. Cummins said it will be capable of meeting 2027 GHG rules five years ahead of the legislated requirement --and without using the feared waste heat recovery system. This 15 L engine will be 300 lbs lighter than the current X15, with the height of a 13 L engine, ensuring efficient installations in future ultra-aero trucks, both conventional and cabover.

And natural gas remains a viable alternative to diesel, in a way similar to electric vehicles. It's still best suited to shorter ranges and a return-to-base operationwith a fuel supply. Range is limited by the size of the fuel tanks, but it does work in many instances, and it can be used to power range-extended battery electric vehicles.  

Cummins revealed its latest Near Zero natural gas engines during the media event in Columbus. According to Cummins, end users will find the Near Zero natural gas engines are an equivalent performance option to diesel and, like the latest clean-diesels, these produce little to no emissions. Cummins said it managed a 90% reduction in NOx, getting output down to just 0.02 gm/bhp/hr.

A growing crowd of observers seems ready to pronounce diesel engines a marooned technology while electric systems seem poised to emerge as the power technology of choices. Cummins, however, would beg to differ.

Padmanabhan sees diesel as a safe bet for at least the next 20 years, and likely far beyond that. It's simply has no equal in terms of energy density, portability, and flexibility.

Used as a range extender with battery electric systems, diesels can be made to run at near-zero emissions levels because they operate at a steady state, with zero transient cycles to worry about. Diesels will emerge with varying degrees of hybridization and with various off-engine accessory drives that help to minimize parasitic losses.

And trucks as a whole will become more efficient, which will require less power to run at highway speeds, so smaller displacement engines could well find a home in heavy-duty long-haul applications, with much improved fuel efficiency.

"We succeeded during previous major disruption periods because Cummins is a technology company that embraces change, and capitalizes on that change with the right technology that matters in the marketplace and to our customers," said Padmanabhan. He doesn't see that changing anytime soon.


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Closer look: An electric-power truck from a global diesel leader

Aaron Marsh, Fleet Owner  /  August 30, 2017

Though a sudden downpour tangled its "sneak peek" unveiling a bit, it couldn't dampen onlookers' enthusiasm for the AEOS all-electric Class 7 truck Cummins, Inc. showed off Tuesday at its Technical Center in Columbus, IN.

When Cummins — a company that has built its global core business and reputation on diesel power — sets its sights on electric powertrains, people sit up and take notice. But with the growing momentum around the potential for electric commercial vehicles, what's the likelihood that this alternative power could make real inroads in North American trucking, where diesel is the undisputed king of over-the-road?

Julie Furber, executive director of Cummins' Electrification Business Development Initiative, noted the company has been testing out prototype electric and range-extended electric vehicles over the last decade. She conceded that electric power is likely to appear in other commercial vehicles before long-haul trucks.

Even so, the company believes there are applications for commercial electric powertrains that make sense today. "We see transit bus, we see underground mining, we see material handling and some other markets, and then it'll move into perhaps some municipal vehicles and school buses and things like that," she told Fleet Owner.  

"I think trucking will be a bit later. There are some things that have to advance for electric power in trucking to make sense," she added. Those include cost-effectiveness, where the cost of electric powertrain components needs to continue to drop, "which it is," Furber noted. And power density also needs to improve so that battery size and weight necessary to power something like a heavy duty truck is more compatible with trucking needs.

Still, "I think what you'll see is that fleets will have a mixed bag of powertrains in the end, where some of their missions which are more sensitive in terms of things like emissions [restricted] zones will be fully electric," Furber said. For other duty cycles or where range needs are greater, Cummins anticipates that electric powertrains will be range-extended — perhaps with downsized diesel engines to generate power when batteries are depleted — or will incorporate hybridized configurations.

The reality for North American trucking, though, is that "you'll still have long-haul trucks for many years to come that will be diesel-powered," Furber said.

Photo gallery - http://fleetowner.com/emissions/closer-look-electric-power-truck-global-diesel-leader#slide-0-field_images-225501

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Unveiling the Next Generation of Energy-Diverse Products and Technology Solutions

Cummins Inc.

Clean-diesel, near-zero natural gas and electric power solutions: What do these things have in common? They’re the latest in a series of next-generation, energy-diverse products and technology solutions being developed by Cummins.

During an event held Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017 at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana, employees, company executives, global media and elected officials watched as Cummins unveiled its latest power solutions and energy-diverse products, demonstrating that the company is prepared to win with new and future technologies.

“Cummins has always been an innovator,” stated Congressman Luke Messer. “Today serves as the latest example of how this thriving Indiana business is developing cutting-edge technologies that will shape the manufacturing industry for decades to come. It was an honor to join Cummins today and support the thousands of Hoosiers that work for this great Indiana company.”

From Natural Gas to Clean Diesel to Electrified Powertrain Solutions

The company displayed the latest in near-zero natural gas engine technology, as well as super-efficient diesel engines (the X12 and X15), and shared plans to introduce a revolutionary heavy-duty diesel engine in 2022. To round out the company’s expert capabilities in powertrain design, Cummins also revealed, for the first time ever, a fully electric class 7 demonstration Urban Hauler Tractor (pictured below in a rendering).

These products and technologies add to Cummins’ unmatched portfolio of solutions and offer customers the latest in environmentally-friendly, cost-effective and powerful products to help them succeed in every market and every application.

With these new innovations, Cummins will continue to provide connected customer support, including cloud-based solutions and big data analysis, in order to maximize up-time, safety and business optimization, increasing customers’ bottom line.

“These new technological innovations build on our 100-year legacy of bringing the best solutions to our customers, driving their success and meeting the evolving demands of their industries and markets,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Chief Technical Officer, Cummins Inc.

“We will harness our global technical footprint to continue to develop a wide variety of power technologies to bring our customers the choice and solutions that enable their success and contribute to a sustainable future.”

During the event, which included tours of the Cummins technical center, Cummins leaders and scientists showcased the company’s continued innovation and work in analysis-led design capability, virtual reality, alternative fuels and digital capabilities, all of which are positioning the company to win in current and future technologies and in new markets.

“As a global power leader for the commercial and industrial customers we serve, with an unmatched service and support network, we are better positioned than any other company to win in new and emerging technologies and in new markets,” said Rich Freeland, Cummins President and Chief Operating Officer. “We will leverage our deep industry and customer knowledge and our scale advantage to win. Over the past century, our ability to innovate and adapt has fueled our success and we are confident we are on the right path to do it again.”

Cummins leadership believes that energy diversity is critical to its future success. For more information on these power sources and technologies of the future, check out the stories below.

5 Cool Things About Our Electric Powertrain Concept Truck

7 Ways Cummins Goes High Tech to Power Its Customers

Cummins Positioned for Growth and Leadership in New and Emerging Tech

Virtual Reality Helps Cummins See the Big Picture

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Five Things about Electrification You’ll Only Hear from Cummins

Cummins Press Release  /  November 16, 2017



That’s why Cummins has pledged to first bring to market an all-electric powertrain for buses and delivery vehicles by 2019. We believe electric vehicles make the most sense in urban areas where the drive ranges are shorter and the vehicles can more easily be recharged. Many cities around the world are looking at electrification as a means to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases (GHGs).

That’s not to say electrification couldn’t someday play a role in long haul trucking. AEOS, the concept electric heavy-duty truck Cummins unveiled in 2017, will help us learn about electrification’s potential with larger vehicles traveling greater distances.


There are still a number of challenges facing electrification in trucking. AEOS, for example, can go 100 miles on a single charge. That won’t get you far when it comes to long haul trucking.

Charging AEOS isn’t as easy as plugging it into the nearest outlet, either. It takes an hour to charge when plugged into a 140 kWh charging station, although by 2020 advances in batteries are expected to shrink charging time to about 20 minutes. There also isn’t the service infrastructure that exists for diesel or even natural gas.

You could increase the size of the battery, but it would take about 19,000 pounds of battery to go 600 miles on a single charge. That would take a pretty big chunk out of your payload. 


About 75 percent of the trucks on the road today are powered by diesel engines, including more than 90 percent of the long haul trucks. Just based on sheer volume, it’s going to take years before anything replaces that many diesel trucks, especially when you consider the relatively high cost of new technologies early in development.

In addition, diesel fuel is the most energy dense liquid fuel available and advances in engines, emissions control technology and cleaner diesel fuels have led to some remarkable environmental gains. In the past 25 years, for example, there’s been a 95 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, a key contributor to smog. New engines like Cummins’ X12 and X15 diesel engines are also seeing significant gains in fuel economy, which translates into GHG reductions.

Diesel is also proving to be a good platform for hybrid powertrains, including the use of electrification.

As customers adopt different power solutions for different applications, Cummins is uniquely prepared to help manage their fleets because of our expertise in a range of power solutions and our global service and support network. 


Part of bringing any new technology to market is having the infrastructure to produce and service it. Cummins has been making truck engines for nearly 100 years and we’ve been working with electrification for decades. The company does business in approximately 190 countries and territories and its customer service and support network is unmatched.

When power solutions are economically viable, Cummins brings them to its customers. We will continue to do the same with electrification. The company has already brought things like stop-start technology to our bus engines. Cummins has the people and facilities to develop its capabilities in all the key subsystems and components that are critical to electrified and hybrid power systems.

The company’s recent acquisition of Brammo, which designs and develops battery packs for mobile and stationary applications, will help accelerate Cummins’ capability development in battery systems.


Every customer’s situation is a little different. At Cummins, we want to offer the right technology at the right time and in the right place. That could be our clean diesel engines powering long haul trucks, our near zero natural gas engines powering major urban transit systems at emissions levels below EPA standards, or our diesel-electric hybrids powering locomotives around the U.S.

The bottom line: customers can depend on Cummins to help them find the option that works best for them. Once we find the right solution, we have the global service and support network to keep them up and running anywhere in the world at any time – something that is unique to Cummins.


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Well, they got Navistar, at least for the near future.  Personally, I would like to see International use the GM/Isuzu Duramax to replace the ISB 6.7 in everything up to class 6, and MAN for everything above that.  Cummins ought to focus on export highway and industrial applications, just saying.  I say this after my Insite has just treated me to a surprise update/renewal 'offer' in the middle of trying to diagnose a problem............. 

They will be in big trouble if they ever loose RAM!


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Cummins Taps UK Battery Maker for Electric Truck Development

Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT)  /  January 31, 2018

Cummins has acquired Johnson Matthewy’s UK automotive battery systems business, with plans to collaborate on the development of high-energy battery materials for commercial heavy-duty electric vehicle applications.

The acquisition and collaboration agreement will allow Cummins to expand its electrification and energy storage capabilities. Johnson Matthey will focus on developing high-energy battery materials, including its enhanced lithium nickel oxide (eLNO) product, for transport applications.

The companies intend to collaborate on the development of new products with enhanced performance characteristics for commercial applications, relying on the expertise of each company.

“By combining our electrification capabilities, portfolio of diverse power solutions, and global network, Cummins is uniquely positioned to lead in electrification,” said Tom Linebarger, chairman and CEO of Cummins. “What differentiates us is our ability to help customers succeed with high-quality products across the spectrum of power solutions they use, whether it’s electric, diesel, natural gas or other energy solutions.”

This most recent move comes on the heels of Cummins’ acquisition of Brammo in October of last year. Brammo designs and develops low-voltage battery packs for mobile and stationary applications.

The company will continue to explore other opportunities to add electrification capabilities as it prepares to offer electrified powertrains to customers in 2019.

“The addition of Johnson Matthey Battery Systems’ technical expertise and customer base in markets that are more rapidly adopting electrification further positions us as a global energy storage supplier,” said Linebarger.

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