During an event held at its technical center in Columbus, IN, engine maker Cummins Inc. unveiled a range of new “power solutions” it is developing for the heavy-truck market of the future.
The OEM showed of its latest in near-zero natural gas engine technology, it’s new line of “super-efficient” diesel engines – the heavy-duty 2017 model X15 family and soon-to-be-built 2018 model medium-duty X12 line – and shared plans to introduce what it calls a “revolutionary” heavy-duty diesel engine in 2022.
Cummins also showed off new fully-electric Class 7 “technical demonstrator” tractor, designed for applications such as urban delivery, port drayage and terminal handling.
The demonstration truck, built by Roush with the design “inspired” by the OEM’s engineers, according to the company – features a Cummins integrated all-electric powertrain that offers a range of 100 miles on a single charge; a range extendable to 300 miles with the addition of a second pack of batteries. The maximum gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) for this Class 7 tractor is 75,000 lbs., the company noted.
The key to this new commercial truck concept is its lighter, denser battery design allows it to hold a longer charge for improved range and faster charging, Cummins said, reducing down time.
The concept truck design also includes an “engine-generator” option for extended range capabilities. Thus, by adding a Cummins B4.5 or B6.7 engine to the vehicle, the truck gains more range yet also scan achieve up to 50% more fuel savings compared to current diesel-electric hybrid powertrain packages, the OEM noted.
Other research work Cummins detailed during its event included:
- Development of a high-efficiency spark-ignited technology that 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.
- Cummins continues to investigate the viability of alternatives like bio-fuels, synthetic fuels and hydrogen. That also includes investments in “exploratory projects” focused on proton exchange membrane and solid oxide fuel cell technologies.
- In May this year, Cummins formed a new internal organization led by Sherry Aaholm, its chief information officer, called the “Digital Accelerator.” This new organization will seek to streamline innovation in the telematics space, bringing concepts from the idea stage to commercialization at the “most efficient and effective pace,” the OEM stressed.
Jennifer Rumsey, chief technical officer for Cummins, noted during the event that along with those “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,” she said. “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.”
“As a global power leader for the commercial and industrial customers we serve, we are better positioned than any other company to win in new and emerging technologies and in new markets,” added Rich Freeland, president and COO for Cummins.
“We will leverage our deep industry and customer knowledge and our scale advantage to win,” he said. “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.”