Cummins signs up Werner for 500 hydrogen internal combustion engines

September 12, 2022

Land Line Staff

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Cummins Inc. recently announced that mega carrier Werner Enterprises had signed a letter of intent to purchase 500 of Cummins’ 15-liter hydrogen internal combustion engines when they are available.

The two companies earlier this year had announced that Omaha, Neb.-based Werner Enterprises planned to validate and integrate Cummins’15-liter natural gas and X15H hydrogen internal combustion engines into its fleet. Both part of Cummins’ fuel agnostic platform.

Cummins’ fuel-agnostic engines will use engine blocks and core components that share common architectures and will be optimized for different low-carbon fuel types. Below the head gasket of each engine will largely have similar components and above the head gasket will have different components for different fuel types. Each engine version will operate using a different, single fuel, Columbus, Ind.-based Cummins explained in a February news release.

Since announcing the fuel agnostic platform, which includes the hydrogen option in both the 15-liter and 6.7-liter displacements, Cummins reports good interest globally in the platform’s potential and hydrogen fuel in particular.

“The future will include many solutions to help customers decarbonize, and we believe hydrogen internal combustion engines will play an important role,” said Brett Merritt, vice president for on-highway engine business for Cummins.

Hydrogen internal combustion engines offer original equipment manufacturers and end-users the benefit of adaptability by continuing to use familiar mechanical drivelines with vehicle and equipment integration, according to a news release. This mirrors current powertrains while continuing to provide the power and capability for meeting application needs. Significant reuse of parts and components from Cummins’ existing platforms drives scale advantages on cost and is also projected to deliver reliability and durability equal to diesel.

Hydrogen engines can use zero-carbon green hydrogen fuel, produced by Cummins-manufactured electrolyzers. The projected investment in renewable hydrogen production globally will provide a growing opportunity for the deployment of hydrogen-powered fleets utilizing either Cummins fuel cell or engine power.

“Our fleet customers have shown tremendous enthusiasm for hydrogen internal combustion engines, which we believe can be a breakthrough technology essential to reaching Destination Zero,” said Jim Nebergall, general manager of Cummins hydrogen engine business.

“With enough interest, we believe we can manufacture this technology at scale yet this decade providing customers with an option that is a low initial cost, extended vehicle range, powertrain installation commonality, and end user familiarity.”

Destination Zero is Cummins’ strategy to reduce the greenhouse gases and air quality effects of its products and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

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