Cummins Inc. has unveiled a new heavy-duty truck with fuel cell and battery electric power. The demonstration vehicle was introduced this week at the 2019 North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta.
Cummins’ strategy is to provide its customers with a broad portfolio of power options: diesel, natural gas, hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell.
“Developing this cutting-edge hydrogen fuel cell truck as a technology demonstrator is an important step in gaining valuable insights that are critical to continue developing the right solutions for the market and preparing for the next 100 years. Some companies make headlines talking about the future, but we’re busy building for the future,” states Thad Ewald, vice president of corporate strategy at Cummins and leader of the company’s electrified power segment.
The zero-emissions Class 8, 6×4 day cab tractor is a technology demonstrator suitable for vocational applications, including regional haul, urban delivery operations, port drayage and terminal container handling.
“In the long run, the customers we serve will likely need more than one type of power, depending on their specific markets, applications and use cases,” continues Ewald. “We are uniquely positioned to help our customers select the right solution for their needs. Our deep technological expertise and global service and support network means we are able to help them transition from one technology to another at the time that’s best for their business.”
The truck, which was designed and integrated by Cummins in Columbus, Ind., includes a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell from Hydrogenics, which Cummins recently acquired.
The truck, designed for a 90 kW fuel cell, is scalable in 30 kW or 45 kW increments up to 180 kW and has a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery capacity. Further, the truck has a range of 150 to 250 miles between filling up; however, that range can be extended with additional hydrogen tanks by increasing the tank storage pressure or by installing additional fuel cells to optimize management of the vehicle load factor. Many of the critical components of the powertrain, including the PEM fuel cell, system controller, powertrain controls, wire harnesses and junction boxes, among others, were designed and developed by Cummins.
To help all original equipment manufacturing (OEM) customers and end-users envision how Cummins’ fuel cell power can “enable their success,” the company says, the truck has been intentionally designed without collaboration from any of Cummins’ OEM partners.
Cummins has made several recent announcements around fuel cells: e.g., the acquisition of Hydrogenics; a memo of understanding with Hyundai Motor Co. to collaborate on hydrogen fuel cell technology across commercial markets in North America; and an investment in Loop Energy, a fuel cell electric range extender provider.
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