Five Things About Electrification You'll Only Hear from Cummins

Cummins AEOS all-electric concept truck
Cummins earlier this year unveiled AEOS, the company’s all-electric concept truck. AEOS will help Cummins explore the potential for electric powertrains.

Cummins offers a broad portfolio of products to help customers find the right solution to their power needs. You're going to hear a lot about electrification and trucks in coming days.

Here are five things to remember:

1.WHILE ELECTRIFICATION HAS TREMENDOUS PROMISE, IT’S NOT THE ANSWER FOR EVERYONE RIGHT NOW

That’s why Cummins has pledged to first bring to market an all-electric powertrain for buses and delivery vehicles by 2019. We believe electric vehicles make the most sense in urban areas where the drive ranges are shorter and the vehicles can more easily be recharged. Many cities around the world are looking at electrification as a means to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases (GHGs).

That’s not to say electrification couldn’t someday play a role in long haul trucking. AEOS, the concept electric heavy-duty truck Cummins unveiled in 2017, will help us learn about electrification’s potential with larger vehicles traveling greater distances.

2. IT TAKES MORE THAN AN EXTENSION CORD TO KEEP AN ELECTRIC TRUCK GOING 

There are still a number of challenges facing electrification in trucking. AEOS, for example, can go 100 miles on a single charge. That won’t get you far when it comes to long haul trucking.

Charging AEOS isn’t as easy as plugging it into the nearest outlet, either. It takes an hour to charge when plugged into a 140 kW charging station, although by 2020 advances in batteries are expected to shrink charging time to about 20 minutes. There also isn’t the service infrastructure that exists for diesel or even natural gas.

You could increase the size of the battery, but it would take about 19,000 pounds of battery to go 600 miles on a single charge. That would take a pretty big chunk out of your payload. 

3. ELECTRIFICATION DOES NOT SPELL THE END OF DIESEL OR OTHER FORMS OF ENERGY ANYTIME SOON

About 75 percent of the trucks on the road today are powered by diesel engines, including more than 90 percent of the long haul trucks. Just based on sheer volume, it’s going to take years before anything replaces that many diesel trucks, especially when you consider the relatively high cost of new technologies early in development.

In addition, diesel fuel is the most energy dense liquid fuel available and advances in engines, emissions control technology and cleaner diesel fuels have led to some remarkable environmental gains. In the past 25 years, for example, there’s been a 95 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, a key contributor to smog. New engines like Cummins’ X12 and X15 diesel engines are also seeing significant gains in fuel economy, which translates into GHG reductions.

Diesel is also proving to be a good platform for hybrid powertrains, including the use of electrification.

As customers adopt different power solutions for different applications, Cummins is uniquely prepared to help manage their fleets because of our expertise in a range of power solutions and our global service and support network. 

4. INFRASTRUCTURE MATTERS

Part of bringing any new technology to market is having the infrastructure to produce and service it. Cummins has been making truck engines for nearly 100 years and we’ve been working with electrification for decades. The company does business in approximately 190 countries and territories and its customer service and support network is unmatched.

When power solutions are economically viable, Cummins brings them to its customers. We will continue to do the same with electrification. The company has already brought things like stop-start technology to our bus engines. Cummins has the people and facilities to develop its capabilities in all the key subsystems and components that are critical to electrified and hybrid power systems.

The company’s recent acquisition of Brammo, which designs and develops battery packs for mobile and stationary applications, will help accelerate Cummins’ capability development in battery systems.

5. ONLY CUMMINS IS POSITIONED TO HELP CUSTOMERS PICK THE ENERGY SOLUTION THAT’S RIGHT FOR THEM

Every customer’s situation is a little different. At Cummins, we want to offer the right technology at the right time and in the right place. That could be our clean diesel engines powering long haul trucks, our near zero natural gas engines powering major urban transit systems at emissions levels below EPA standards, or our diesel-electric hybrids powering locomotives around the U.S.

The bottom line: customers can depend on Cummins to help them find the option that works best for them. Once we find the right solution, we have the global service and support network to keep them up and running anywhere in the world at any time – something that is unique to Cummins.

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. blair.claflin@cummins.com

5 Ways Cummins Works to Protect the Earth

Cummins employees conduct a tour of the Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (U.S.A.) featuring its new LED lighting system. The plant has taken many steps to reduce the energy it uses and is participating in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings’ Challenge.
Cummins employees conduct a tour of the Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (U.S.A.), featuring its new LED lighting system. The plant has taken many steps to reduce the energy it uses and is participating in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings’ Challenge.

The world will celebrate Earth Day this weekend (April 22, 2018). Here are five ways Cummins works to protect the earth as part of its mission to build a more prosperous world:

Jamestown Solar Array (reduced size)
A Cummins employee checks the solar array on top of the Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, New York (U.S.A.).

1.    SAVE ENERGY AND REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES (GHGs)

Many Cummins facilities have been undergoing upgrades to improve energy conservation and by extension reduce GHGs. Over the past decade, for example, the Jamestown Engine Plant has installed energy efficient lighting, improved heating and air conditioning, a better building envelope, a solar array and more. Cummins has also established a group of employees across the company who serve as Environmental Champions, looking for ways to reduce the energy Cummins’ facilities use and other environmental advances.
 

India Dam full of water that's part of Modern Village program

Cummins’ Model Village program in India built this dam to help village residents near one of its facilities better manage their water resources.

2.    CONSERVE WATER

Cummins has made significant progress in reducing the water it uses, lowering the amount in real terms from 972 million gallons in 2014 to 934 million gallons in 2016. The company has fixed leaks, changed processes and invested in equipment that uses less water. In addition, Cummins is pushing to establish “Water Neutrality” at 15 sites where the company is replacing the water it uses by supporting conservation efforts in local communities or developing additional sources of water. 

 

Cummins X15 Engine

Full production started in 2017 on the Cummins X15 engine, one of the cleanest, most efficient diesel engines the company has ever made.

3.    BUILD MORE EFFICIENT PRODUCTS, WORK WITH CUSTOMERS TO IMPROVE OUR PRODUCTS IN USE.


Cummins believes there is no single answer to the world’s energy needs.  That's why the company produces a broad portfolio of products so customers can choose what’s best for their particular needs. In just the past year, the company started full production on the X15, one of the cleanest, most efficient diesel engines the company has ever made. Cummins is a partner in a joint venture that in 2017 launched a natural gas engine for buses that emits emissions 90 percent below EPA standards for a key contributor to smog. Cummins has also worked with customers using its products to complete more than 200 fuel economy projects in the field since 2014.

 

AEOS Unveil Small Photo
Employees and visitors gather in the summer of 2017 for the unveiling of AEOS, a Class 7, all-electric concept truck the company is using to study electrification.

4.    PURSUE LOW-CARBON TECHNOLOGIES

Cummins started its Electrified Power segment in 2018, pledging to deliver an all-electric powertrain for the urban bus market by 2019. But that’s not the only way Cummins is pursuing low-carbon technologies. In 2017, the company announced a partnership with Microsoft to explore the use of natural gas powered fuel cells to power data centers. And the company has been looking for ways to make its diesel engines increasingly more fuel efficient while delivering lower emissions, saving customers money while improving the environment.

 

Cummins wind farm expansion
Cummins officials meet with officials from the Meadow Lake Wind Farm in northwest Indiana to learn more about wind energy.

5.    ENCOURAGE THE PRODUCTION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

Cummins entered into an agreement in 2017 to help a northwest Indiana (U.S.A.) wind farm expand. The Virtual Power Purchase Agreement ensures a viable market for the wind farm’s energy. When fully operational in early 2019, the expansion will generate renewable electricity equivalent to the amount of power Cummins uses at all of its Indiana facilities. The company also has solar arrays at a number of plants around the world and last year Cummins entered into the partnership mentioned earlier with Microsoft to study the potential for powering data centers with natural gas powered fuel cells. 
 

 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. blair.claflin@cummins.com

Our Journey: Technical Women’s Initiative

Cummins Womens Technical Initiative
Technical women from around the world gathered in Columbus, Indiana for the Cummins Women in Technology Conference.

“Can you do a project to look at barriers and enablers to have more women in the engineering function?” That was the question posed to Anne McLaren and other Cummins engineers dedicated to improving the representation of technical women at Cummins.

That project led to the Cummins Technical Women’s Initiative, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2017. The goals of this initiative are to attract, develop, and retain technical women at all levels and in all regions, and to have technical women equally represented across all levels of leadership.

“The Technical Women’s Initiative was a path for me to shift and work actively to improve what I can,” explained Ana Paula Marimoto.

Last week, McLaren and Marimoto joined technical women from around the world in Columbus, Indiana for the Cummins Women in Technology Conference. Sessions ranged from updates on technical topics such as electrification to professional development opportunities to a panel discussion with several members of the Cummins Leadership Team.

“My hope is that I'm able to affect the engineering profession and make it a more inclusive place for everyone, no matter what your demographic happens to be, or how you identify,” said Karen Ramsey-Idem.

Judging by the atmosphere at the conference, Ramsey-Idem and others leading this work at the Company are well on their way.
 

katie zarich author bio photo

Katie Zarich

Katie Zarich is Manager of External Communications for Cummins Inc. She joined the Company in 2015 after more than a decade working in government and the nonprofit sector. katie.zarich@cummins.com

Cummins Electrification Leader Says Broad Power Portfolio is Best for Customers

Executive Director of Electrified Power Julie Furber speaks at the Green Truck Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana (U.S.A.).
Executive Director of Electrified Power Julie Furber speaks at the Green Truck Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana (U.S.A.).

The leader of Cummins’ Electrified Power business said this week customers are best served by a company offering a broad portfolio of products so they can choose the power solution that works best for them.

“Different solutions meet different needs,” Julie Furber told the Green Truck Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana (U.S.A.). “…We believe (offering) a variety of solutions is the way to go.”

The summit was held in conjunction with the Work Truck Show, the largest gathering of its kind in North America. Work trucks are commercial vehicles designed for specific jobs such as construction, delivery, tow trucks, snow plows and more. The summit puts a special focus on environmental issues related to these vehicles such as alternative power technologies and fuels.

Furber, executive director of Cummins Electrified Power segment, said the company’s goal is to be the industry leader in electrified power in every market Cummins’ serves. But she also said with advances in clean diesel, Cummins expects diesel engines to remain an important power source for years to come, particularly in long-haul trucking.

Natural gas engines, especially those using renewable natural gas, can be incredibly clean and efficient. Hybrid engines offer still additional benefits in the right situation and Furber said Cummins is also exploring possibilities such as fuel cell technology to power data centers.

Providing customers with the “right technology at the right time,” is key, Furber said.

She spoke at a panel titled “It’s a New Kind of Truck – It’s Not Your Father’s Work Truck Anymore,” devoted to electrification. She sees electrified power in the work truck industry evolving in three distinct phases:

*An introductory phase where people become familiar with the technology.
*A phase where the technology is increasingly adopted, especially in urban areas where the necessary infrastructure is expected to first develop.
*And finally a phase where electrified power becomes fully viable economically, perhaps following a major technology break through affecting price.

“There will be lots of changes,” Furber said, predicting a path for electrification not unlike the cell phone, which went from something of a curiosity in the 1970s and early 1980s to ubiquitous today, with an established infrastructure around the world.

Cummins has pledged to have an all-electric powertrain on the market for buses by 2019. Furber says the company has several advantages when it comes to succeeding in the field.

Cummins has been working with electrification for decades in areas such as hybrid engines. It also has the size and service network to provide customers with the reliability they need to succeed.

Furber says electrification will have to be a proven technology with established service networks before it sees widespread adoption in the work truck market where customers depend on their vehicles for their livelihood.

While the decision to purchase an automobile can be influenced by the heart, she says purchasing a work truck is almost entirely an exercise of the head.
 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. blair.claflin@cummins.com

Five ways Cummins worked to improve the environment in 2017

Cummins leaders meet with EDP Renewables officials at Meadow Lake Farm in northwest Indiana earlier in 2017.
Cummins leaders meet with EDP Renewables officials at Meadow Lake Farm in northwest Indiana earlier in 2017.

2nd in a series

In 2017, Cummins took a number of steps outside product development to reduce its carbon footprint and improve the environment. Here’s a quick look at five key ones:

 

1. PROMOTING LOW-CARBON ENERGY

In August of 2017, Cummins announced it had entered into an agreement enabling a northwest Indiana (U.S.A.) wind farm to expand so it can produce enough low-carbon power for the grid to offset the amount of electricity the company uses at its Indiana facilities. Under its 15-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with EDP Renewables North America, Cummins guarantees a certain fixed price for the energy the wind farm expansion sells to the grid. The company, in turn, receives renewable energy certificates it can use in calculating Cummins' environmental impact.


 

Cummins water logo
Cummins water strategy has three basic components.

2. ESTABLISHING A NEW WATER GOAL

Cummins used World Water Day, March 22, 2017, to announce a new 2020 water reduction goal of 50 percent, having cut water use 42 percent, adjusted by labor hours, since 2010. In 2016, the company’s absolute water use fell from 947 million gallons across the company to 934 million gallons. Just three years ago (2014) the company used 972 million gallons. The savings have come from multiple projects at Cummins facilities across the globe.

 

Soot free bus partnership signing ceremony
Antonio Leitao (center), Vice President of the Europe Area Business Organization at Cummins, joins other executives in Paris, France, signing the pledge to help target cities improve their air quality.

3. MAKING CLEAN DIESEL ENGINES AVAILABLE AROUND THE WORLD

In September 2017, Cummins joined three other global manufacturers pledging to help 20 large cities around the world address air quality and climate change. The companies will make available sales and service for buses and bus engines with low emissions technology no later than 2018 in the target cities. Nearly all of the cities benefitting from the partnership are in countries that do not have rigorous emissions regulations. Other companies making the pledge include Volvo Buses, Scania Buses and Coaches, and BYD Electric Buses.

 

Gateway panel
A potential supplier makes a presentation to Cummins’ leaders in the United Kingdom in March, 2017, as part of the Environmental Gateway project.

4. DEVELOPING NEW IDEAS TO REDUCE OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

As part of the Environmental Gateway project, Cummins leaders in the U.K. on March 2, 2017, heard 28 finalists pitch their best ideas for shrinking the company’s carbon footprint and meeting Cummins’ environmental goals. About 100 suppliers and others submitted ideas as part of the initiative, which was loosely modeled on television shows where entrepreneurs pitch their best ideas to a panel of investors. Sponsors say the Gateway was a great way to spur innovation. Twelve winning ideas were selected and are now being tested in the U.K. The initiative has also spread to other locations around Cummins including the United States.

 

Jamestown Engine Plant electrician Fred Gable inspects the solar panel connections at
Jamestown Engine Plant electrician Fred Gable inspects the solar panel connections at Cummins’ solar array at Jamestown, New York (U.S.A.). The plant is one of the locations where the company is adding renewables to its energy mix.
 

5. IMPLEMENTING PROGRAMS TO SAVE ENERGY AT CUMMINS FACILITIES

Cummins’ Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown New York (U.S.A.) showcased in September 2017 its latest energy-saving initiative, a $47 million block machining line that utilizes on-demand hydraulics, coolant and pneumatics to reduce power consumption as it produces the company’s high efficiency diesel and natural gas heavy duty engines. The line was completed in May, and is merely the most recent energy-saving investment at the plant.  The plant in recent years has also replaced nearly 3,000 fluorescent lights with advanced LED lighting and a Wi-Fi-enabled control system that can automatically shut the lights off in parts of the plant not in use. The plant also has a solar array on its roof.

 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. blair.claflin@cummins.com

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