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HANOVER, Germany — Cummins CEO Jennifer Rumsey detailed a two-part strategy the company is following to achieve net-zero emissions from its product line built around zero-emission technologies and innovations to improve the performance of internal combustion engines.
“We have to start now; carbon, once emitted to the atmosphere, can’t be taken back,” she said during a Sept. 19 press conference at the IAA Transportation 2022 trade show. Rumsey, the seventh CEO in Cummins’ 103-year history, said Cummins under its Destination Zero initiative aims to achieve net-zero emissions from its products by 2050.
“The shortest path to zero requires scrutinizing the entire chain of carbon emissions,” she said. “It requires making leaps where we can and taking smaller steps where we can’t.”
A 135 kilowatt fuel cell engine on display at the IAA Transportation 2022 trade show in Hanover, Germany (Joe Howard/Transport Topics)
Rumsey stressed that these innovations must make sense for Cummins customers. She said the company is focused on developing zero-emission options and bringing them to market “in applications where they make sense, and using this to drive advancement in the capability of the technology, bring the cost down, and also build out and decarbonize the infrastructure required to support them.”
She added, “There is no single solution or path to zero that will work for all of the applications we power when you consider the different customer duty cycles, operating environments and locations. That’s why we have developed a company with the broadest combination of zero-emissions technologies, dedicated to the commercial vehicle industry.”
We have to start now; carbon, once emitted to the atmosphere, can’t be taken back.
Cummins Inc. CEO Jennifer Rumsey
Rumsey spotlighted new initiatives including Cummins’ next-generation fuel cell engine. Designed to meet the duty cycle, performance and packaging requirements of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, the new fuel cell is available in 135 kilowatt single and 270 kW dual modules versions. Cummins is collaborating with Scania in Europe and Daimler Truck in North America to develop and integrate these next-generation fuel cells into demonstrator vehicles.
“The hydrogen version of the fuel-agnostic platform could become an initial step in reaching zero emissions for medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturers,” she said. “It brings another technology option to complement the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell and battery-electric solutions. We believe hydrogen engines can help accelerate the growth of a hydrogen economy and availability of hydrogen infrastructure."
Fill in the blank: @Cummins' newly acquired electrified @Meritor powertrains are headed to ____! ⚡— Cummins Inc. (@Cummins) September 17, 2022
Answer: #IAA2022 in Hannover, Germany!
Discover more about our debut of the Meritor ePowertrains for the first time since its acquisition: https://t.co/CtQX0OxHOk
Rumsey also touted the opportunities brought about by Cummins’ acquisition of Meritor, including access to that company’s powertrain innovations.
“We have made significant investments and repositioned Cummins to meet our evolving customer needs,” she said. “This includes our recent acquisition of Meritor.”
In Europe, she noted that the Meritor acquisition included the addition of sites in France, Sweden, Italy and the U.K. The deal brought 2,500 European Meritor employees into Cummins, taking the company’s total European headcount to 10,000.
“Adding Meritor’s e-powertrain products and their EV-powertrain integration capabilities to Cummins’ complementary capabilities and customer knowledge will create opportunity to drive technology development, expand Cummins new power product portfolio and meet our customers’ needs as they transition to hybrid and electric vehicles,” Rumsey said.
Cummins' fuel-agnostic 15-liter engine package on display at IAA Transportation 2022 in Hanover, Germany. (Joe Howard/Transport Topics)
She also showcased a new lithium iron phosphate battery that will be incorporated into next-generation powertrains Cummins will offer. The LFP battery chemistry does not incorporate nickel and cobalt, a move Cummins maintains improves affordability and sustainability. The technology also offers improvements in charging time, power output and life expectancy.
In addition, Cummins’ newest batteries made of nickel, manganese and cobalt, the BP95E, feature 30% longer life than previous models. Another lightweight variant, the BP30E, features a compact design intended to fit into tight spaces.
Rumsey also said that improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines should not be overlooked amid these broad industry efforts toward cleaner operations.
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“Improving fuel economy doesn’t always grab the headlines, but it adds up to real results,” she said. Cummins estimates that 100,000 internal combustion engines that are each 10% more efficient are equivalent to the improvements gained by putting 10,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road. That 10% efficiency improvement, she said, “also translates to reduced operating costs for our customers, who then use the savings to reinvest in their business with meaningful results.”
Rumsey said, “I suggest to you, let’s keep improving fuel economy and let’s get those 10,000 zero-emissions vehicles on the road. We need both.”
Also, Rumsey acknowledged that the commercial vehicle sector must play a role in caring for the environment.
“We recognize that our industry contributes to the impact of climate change on our planet, and we have an opportunity to make a positive impact for our customers and on the planet by being a part of the solution,” she said. “We intend to lead during this energy transition, and to do so by providing our customers with the right technology, at the right time with a deep understanding of their needs and applications.”
Rumsey added, “Cummins knows trucking. We understand what range and work cycle demands are across every application. The last century of our experience is going to inform the next century of your energy.”
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