In an effort to combat multiple problems plaguing the trucking industry (emissions, maintenance, etc.), Cummins is planning to bring to market fuel-agnostic engines.
Contrary to the name, the engines believe that fuel exists, and each engine will take a particular type of fuel, so a lazy driver cannot pour renewable natural gas into a diesel engine.
What will make them “fuel-agnostic” is that approximately 90% of the parts used in all the engines will be of the same material and design, in order to be interchangeable, while the rest is built to optimize the use of the fuel in question.
Jonathan White said that this change in design will reduce emissions across the entire transportation industry. ”This unique technology approach will allow end users to more seamlessly pick the right powertrain for their application with the lowest CO2 impact” he said in a release.
The primary benefit for the trucking industry, however, is how design uniformity makes things less complicated for everyone involved. A diesel mechanic learning the diesel version of the engine is almost ready to service an engine running on natural gas. Additionally, a trucking company that wants to repair an engine using spare parts it has from another should have significantly less trouble when using these fuel-agnostic models.
“We’ve been working on this as a concept for more than 20 years, but more stringent regulations and shifts in what our customers need have allowed us to invest to bring the concept to reality,” the company says.
While Cummins does not have a set date for release of these engines, they are currently targeting to have them to market by the end of 2024. Whether or not they will extend this deadline due to global supply chain shortages remains unknown.
Cummins hopes to use the fuel-agnostic engines to prove the value of less common fuel types, such as hydrogen and propane, in hopes of reaching its goal of reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from its sold products’ lifetimes by 25% by 2030. “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.”
Be on the lookout for the fruit of this 20-year labor to appear at industry showrooms soon.
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