As natural gas has become increasingly available, Cummins has been developing a full line of natural gas engines, both through its engine business and through Cummins Westport Inc. The joint venture partnership was established with Westport Innovations Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2001.
Cummins Westport’s natural gas engines are available as factory-installed options from more than 50 truck and bus manufacturers, establishing the joint partnership as the leading North American provider of natural gas engines for on-highway commercial vehicles.
The joint venture announced in early 2013 that it had received certification for its ISX12 G engine from the EPA, meeting both the agency’s 2013 regulations and new greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency rules taking effect in 2014. Limited production of the natural gas engine began in April, with full production to start in August 2013.
About five months earlier, Cummins Westport announced it had started development on another engine, the ISB6.7 G. The 6.7-liter natural gas engine is based on Cummins ISB6.7 diesel engine. The natural gas version is expected to be in production by 2015.
The engines offered by Cummins Westport range in size from 5.9-liters to the 12-liter ISX12 G now entering production.
Independent of the joint venture, the Cummins Engine Business Unit has been building natural gas engines for many years, especially in the Company’s High Horsepower business, primarily for power generation and gas compression customers.
Last year, Cummins announced plans to produce dual fuel engines from 800 hp to 3500 hp (597-2610 kW) for high-horsepower markets. The first in the product portfolio, QSK50 Tier 2 for oil and gas well servicing applications, will begin production in mid-2013, with other QSK Series engines to follow, including engines capable of meeting upcoming EPA Tier 4 Final emissions regulations.
Cummins projects that by 2020, nearly 30 percent of its high horsepower engine production will be natural gas due to the increasing abundance of the fuel and its relatively low cost.
Cummins is currently working on a natural gas version of the QSK95, a 95-liter engine unveiled in 2011 that will be the largest high-speed diesel engine the Company has ever built.
The Company is also developing a 15-liter heavy-duty natural gas engine for on-highway applications. That engine is expected to be in production by 2016.