Cummins Westport plays key role in LA’s goal of a zero-emissions bus fleet

LA Metro natural gas bus
The Metro system in Los Angeles is updating its natural gas fleet with near zero emission engines from Cummins Westport (Image courtesy of Metro. © 2018 LACMTA)

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will soon begin an important step toward its goal of a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2030. Starting in early 2018, Metro will begin taking delivery of up to 395 Cummins Westport L9N natural gas engines.

The engine’s exhaust emissions will be 90 percent lower than the current Environmental Protection Agency limit for NOx, a key contributor to smog. In addition, the transit system will test the use of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), produced by landfills, water filtration plants, food waste and other sources – not extracted from the ground.

If all goes well, the majority of buses in the United States’ third largest transit system, serving some 1.3 million passengers daily, could be using RNG within the next few years.

“Our 2018 product line demonstrates an important milestone in product development for Cummins Westport, creating a move to a zero emissions strategy for our customers and industry,” said Rob Neitzke, President of Cummins Westport. “We’re excited to be part of such an important project as this initiative in Los Angeles.”

Metro will also study the use of electrification on two key commuter lines. While its leaders believe that may be the ultimate solution to reaching the system’s 2030 goal, the combination of the new near zero natural gas engines and the use of a renewable fuel source will arguably get Metro closer to “true zero” than any other metropolitan transit system in the country.

“As we continue our transportation revolution, we must continue to make sustainable practices the norm,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington in a news release earlier this year announcing the 2030 goal. “We hope our move toward a zero emission fleet will inspire other transit agencies across the nation to consider this as a possibility.”


Former "Mythbuster" Jamie Hyneman talks about the benefits of Renewable Natural Gas as a fuel source in a new video for Cummins. 

A NEW TWIST ON AN OLD DEBATE

Cummins Westport is a joint venture between Cummins and Westport Fuel Systems to produce 12 liter and smaller natural gas engines for North American markets. The new ISX12N and the L9N will be the lowest certified NOx emission engines available in North America in 2018. In addition to certifying 90 percent below the EPA’s current NOx limits, the engines also certify well below the 2017 EPA greenhouse gas (GHG) emission requirements.

Metro awarded Cummins a $26.5 million contract this past June to begin supplying its new near-zero L9N engines, produced at Cummins’ Rocky Mount Engine Plant in Rocky Mount, North Carolina (U.S.A.), for installation in its fleet to provide immediate air quality improvements.

In addition, Metro has established a one-year pilot program with Clean Energy Fuels, the leading provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America, to supply its Redeem™ brand of Renewable Natural Gas to one of the transit system’s 11 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations around Los Angeles County. It will provide fuel for approximately 200 CNG buses. Clean Energy Fuels says an additional option would allow it to provide RNG for four more years, serving all of the region’s CNG buses.

The plan provides an interesting twist in the debate over alternative fuels. By now you’ve probably heard the arguments. Are the advantages of non-renewable natural gas outweighed by the methane released during the extraction process? If electricity comes from a coal-fired power plant, is it really zero emissions? Does the energy needed to produce bio fuels diminish their environmental benefits?

By using the natural gas produced in waste treatment and reduction efforts, advocates say RNG is a “carbon neutral” or “carbon negative” fuel. It makes use of something that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere causing harm. While critics question whether there’s enough RNG available to make a significant difference, advocates maintain there’s plenty of room for growth, especially in California.

The American Biogas Council, for example, estimates California, a leader in the production of RNG, has enough biogas to support roughly five times as many projects as it currently has, potentially producing enough electricity to power about 182,000 homes or fuel more than 435,000 vehicles while significantly reducing GHGs in the state.

THE CUMMINS STRATEGY

Cummins believes every customer’s power needs and circumstances are a little bit different, so the company offers a broad portfolio of products that enable customers to choose what makes the most sense for them.

These include industry leading clean diesel engines and high-tech hybrids in addition to Cummins’ and Cummins Westport’s natural gas engines. And starting in 2019, Cummins will offer an all-electric powertrain for transit and delivery vehicles, maintaining electrification initially makes the most sense in buses and trucks operating in urban areas.

The company’s goal is to provide the right technology at the right time and in the right place to fuel customer success.

“For those customers where natural gas makes sense, we offer the cleanest technology there is on the market today, with a proven service network to back it up,” said Cummins Westport’s Neitzke. “Our partnership with Metro is a great example. We want to help them achieve their goal of a cleaner environment for all the residents of Los Angeles.”

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. [email protected]

 

Cummins Powers Full Apache Sprayer Range

In 1997, when Equipment Technologies was founded, their mission was to design a tough, reliable, simple sprayer for its customers.

Starting from scratch, Equipment Technologies held hundreds of conversations with growers to understand what they were looking for. The solution was a mechanical drive sprayer that’s simple to run and maintain, is efficient and light but ultimately, tough enough to get the job done. Add in a tractor feel, with a comfortable ride and you have the Apache Sprayer range.

“Our customers work hard for their money. And when they buy equipment, they expect to get the most for their time and energy. We respect that and that’s why Cummins is the engine provider across our full range of sprayers. Performance, reliability and fuel efficiency are top priority – and Cummins engines deliver on all those promises.” explains Matt Hays, chief executive officer of Equipment Technologies, the Apache manufacturer.

The AS640, the latest Apache sprayer is compact and agile. It’s Cummins QSB4.5 Tier 4 Final engine delivers 163 horsepower and 466 pound-feet of torque. Weighing in at just under 17,000 pounds, this model provides increased fuel economy and reduced soil compaction.  It is designed to be used by smaller farms as an affordable self-propelled option or by large scale farms that need an efficient way to spray areas a larger tractor can’t reach.

For larger capacity requirements, there is the 40 Series sprayer range powered by the Cummins 6.7-liter. This lineup comprises the AS740, rated at 173 horsepower (129 kW); the AS1040, rated at 225 horsepower (168 kW); the AS1240, rated at 260 horsepower (194 kW); and the AS1240 XP, rated at 300 horsepower (224 kW). 

With more horsepower and less fuel consumption, the Cummins Tier 4 Final engine is one of the most popular and versatile engines ever built by Cummins. A high-pressure common-rail (HPCR) fuel system, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system delivers ultra-low-emissions and 5-20% better fuel efficiency than the Apache 20 Series.

“Cummins is always looking for ways to help our customers succeed,” explains Jason Beckort, Industrial Sales Manager at Cummins.

“Our aim is to ensure Apache customers have the Tier 4 Final engine power, efficiency and reliability they need to make their businesses successful. From the beginning, Cummins application engineers and machine integration specialists have worked closely with the Equipment Technologies team to deliver optimum engine installations for the full range of sprayers.” concludes Beckort.  
 
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins Repower Blog: Overland Expo West

R2.8 Powered Vehicle

The following post was authored by Allison Janowski, Marketing Communications Specialist for Cummins Repower, who recently attended the Cummins booth at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona.

This week, the Cummins Repower team headed to Overland Expo West 2018. We packed up our vehicles and started our engines and made the 1,700 mile journey from Columbus, Indiana to Flagstaff, Arizona. Our Cummins R2.8 Turbo Diesel repowered Jeep Wrangler TJ and Land Rover Discovery 1 made the trip with ease and arrived at the expo showgrounds Thursday afternoon. We were excited with the amount of Cummins powered Overlanding rigs that greeted us when we entered the expo for show set up. We were eager to set up our booth for the 3-day event, and our technical team was ready to answer any repower questions.

Our booth featured the Cummins R2.8 engine, kit contents and crate, as well as our TJ and Discovery, but the stars of the show were the customer built repowered vehicles scattered throughout the expo. We were excited to see that five other Cummins R2.8 builds made it to the show. After setting up our booth we walked the show to meet these builders and see their hard work.

The Clean Cruiser Project

First stop was the Clean Cruiser Project booth and their original mustard yellow colored BJ42 Toyota Land Cruiser. Their work in progress build caught your eye as you walked down the gravel path, but they had an even cooler story to tell. These guys are taking this BJ42 and another restored 1979 FJ40 to Columbia in 2019. They plan to make some amazing memories, but also reduce their carbon footprint to zero by planting 200 trees during their adventure. 

Cummins R2.8 powered vehicleCummins R2.8 powered Jeep

Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers

We then made our way through the crowd surrounding Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers booth to see their 79 Toyota Land Cruiser. As one of our first beta builders, we love seeing this shiny SEMA vehicle that can tackle any trail, too. The Land Cruiser was ready to take on the Overlanding experience with a newly added rooftop tent and a bed full of all the necessities. Proffitt’s specializes in premier Toyota Land Cruiser restorations, and they all turn heads. 

Cummins R2.8

DELTA Vehicle Systems

Across the way from our booth was DELTA Vehicle Systems. DELTA Vehicle Systems brought their Toyota Land Cruiser FJ80. They were excited to debut their complete frame off 80 series R2.8 build with a new paint job and packed full of their products. They are building custom adaptor plates and completed, ready to bolt on vehicles accessories. 
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Overland Cruisers

Our friends from Overland Cruisers featured a built R2.8 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60 in their booth. This 60s series looked like it was yearning to hit the trails and start its maiden voyage as a newly repowered diesel Land Cruiser. Overland Cruisers is a full service Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota 4WD specialty shop, specializing in full restorations, engine conversions, repairs and so much more. They truly do have a passion for ‘cruisers.
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Axis Industries USA

We even had another jeep show up to the expo! Axis Industries showcased their R2.8 converted Jeep TJ Brute Pickup. This Jeep was built from the frame up by Axis and set on 37 inch tires. They have done numerous R2.8 engine conversions in various jeeps for their customers. Axis industries manufactures adapter kits for the R2.8, as well as other off-road products for vehicles.

Cummins R2.8Cummins R2.8

 

 

 

 

 

 


Overall, it was a great three days at Overland Expo West. It was exciting to see all of the Cummins powered vehicles, and so many R2.8 builds at the show. Check out what our Cummins Repower Technical Lead, Brittany, did with our Discovery show vehicle in our West Road Trip Blog. We’re looking forward to our other Repower shows this year, including SEMA in October, Overland Expo East in November, and PRI in December.
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins Repower Blog: Overland Expo West Road Trip

R2.8 Outside of Cummins Engine Plant

The following post was authored by Brittany Borella, the Technical Leader for the Cummins Repower Program, who recently went on a multi-day road trip in the R2.8-powered Land Rover Discovery 1. 

My road trip started on a sunny day outside Plant 1 in Columbus, Indiana - the location of Cummins’ Headquarters.

I packed up all my stuff for my first camping adventure since I was a kid, and headed west. At 5640 lbs fully loaded and with the aerodynamics of a small tool shed, the R2.8 powered Landrover Discovery 1 was easily able to cruise at 70 mph across the country, and get 17 mpg while doing it.  

R2.8

The first stop was Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, AZ - The Disco and I were to work the Cummins booth. Overland Expo is always a great show and we were able to speak to a lot of existing or potentially new Cummins Repower R2.8 owners, but by Sunday, I was ready to hit the road. 

R2.8


I headed north out of Flagstaff to cross the Utah state line before nightfall, and camped for the night in the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. 

R2.8

If you’ve never been to the sand dunes, I recommend a visit longer than mine – and be sure to bring your 4-wheeler or side-by-side. 
 

R2.8


My stay at the Dunes was short, and I was off to Zion National Park for two days of hiking and camping. I drove through the East Entrance in order to catch a glimpse of the “entire” park and spent the rest of the day down in the Canyon. While the Canyon is the busiest section of the park, it still provides some amazing views, and you can see why Zion is the 3rd most visited National Park in the Country (beat out only by the Great Smokey Mountains and Grand Canyon).

R2.8

The next day I decided to avoid the crowds and spend some time on the Kolob Terrace, which is accessed via a 20-mile scenic drive up into the higher elevations of the park. My hike led me to an amazing 360° vista, where you can start seeing the vastness of the park below you. Notes for next time – stay at the Lava Point Camp ground (another hidden gem at the top of Kolob Terrace), and plan on hiking (wading?) the Narrows.

R2.8

My trip continued across the deserts of Nevada, where I encountered a group of Defenders also on a trip post-Expo. We chatted while stopped at the Alien Diner on the Extraterrestrial Highway, but then parted ways as I continued into the mountains and they set off to explore the desert floor. 

R2.8

Camp was set up overlooking a mountain lake at 8000 ft elevation, which made for a chilly nights sleep but some amazing views in the morning. Breakfast and coffee, and it was time to hit the road.

R2.8

The camping spot at June Lake sat just outside the east entrance of Yosemite National Park, so that’s where I headed. Climbing the grades into the park again allowed access to some of the lesser trafficked hiking trails.

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I took a break from driving to hike up to Dog Lake and then the top of Lambert Dome. It was a fairly strenuous hike when combining the elevation with the steep grade, but the views were well worth the sweat and sunburn (the sun is much stronger at 10,000 ft!)

R2.8

After a small snafu with a snap ring in the shifter required a complete disassembly of the center console (which seems to be something I have to do on every cross country trip, regardless of vehicle or issue) the mountains were behind me and I was headed towards the coast. I stopped outside of San Francisco to visit my sister where she took me on a rainy hike through the redwoods. Soaked feet and tired bodies brought us back to the main house for a warm fire and a home cooked meal. 
 

trees in the forest

The clouds broke the day of my departure, which allowed for a pleasant drive down the coast to meet up with Fred. I distracted him from Ultimate Adventure prep long enough to put the Landrover’s center console back together and take it (and the doggos) to Pismo beach for Memorial Day.

R2.8R2.8

As I sit at the airport awaiting my flight back home to Indiana, I’m happy to be out of the driver’s seat but grateful for all the adventures I was able to go on over the last 2 weeks. I accumulated over 3000 miles on the odometer, countless hours of validation on updates to the R2.8 calibration (look for an announcement later this summer), and memories to last a lifetime. This trip makes me even more excited looking ahead to Cummins Cruise 2018!

Fuel Economy Summary:
Indiana to Flagstaff : 17 mpg
Flagstaff to Zion: 19.6 mpg
Zion to Yosemite: 18.7 mpg
Yosemite to Pismo Beach: 20 mpg

R2.8R2.8

 

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Brittany Borella

Brittany Borella is the Technical Leader for the Cummins Repower Program. She has worked at Cummins for 6 years, spending the last 4 as a Vehicle Integration Engineer for the Pickup and Enthusiast Market. In January 2018 she transitioned to officially lead the engineering work for the Crate Engine Program, focusing on the R2.8 as well as future products. In her current role, she oversees hardware changes, compatible components, Calibration improvements, and software updates. She also works directly with builders and end customers to ensure they have successful installs and a satisfactory experience with the Cummins Repower program. 

Top RV Maintenance Tips from Cummins for Travel Season

rv driving on open desert road

Spring’s longer daylight hours and warmer weather call RV owners out to the open road. But before you succumb to the urge to start up the diesel engine and roll out on the highway, proper spring RV maintenance will ensure a smoother ride all season long.

“Walk around the coach just like you would your house in the spring,” Chris Crowel, Cummins RV Market Leader, says. “The best way to see if your home needs maintenance is to get out and look at it. Do the same type of inspection of your coach to see how it faired through the winter weather.”

Here are 5 tips to prepare your RV for travel season:

1. Get out and inspect everything.

Look for any broken seals or cracks on the exterior of the coach that need to be repaired. Lift the engine cover, open up the basement and inspect every compartment. Keep an eye out for:

  • Insect and bug nests that may disrupt air flow
  • Plugged crankcase breather tube from ice or debris
  • Cracks or bent blades on cooling fan
  • Check the condition of your belts and hoses

2. Top off coolant.

At a cool temperature, top off with coolant that meets Cummins Engineering Standard: CES14603 for optimal performance. Note: never open a hot coolant reservoir – since the main role of coolant is to absorb heat from the engine, it can get very hot.  Periodically check coolant levels and concentration to ensure your RV engine is appropriately protected by the coolant – preventing corrosion, aeration, scaling, and other issues that can cause harm to your engine.  Consult your Owner’s Manual for additional details.

3 - Proper oil level on dipstick.

If you did not change your oil before the winter, we recommend draining and changing your oil fluid before you hit the road or a long trip. For a Cummins engine, we recommend a CJ-4 (CES20081) oil such as Valvoline Premium Blue.  Oil is used to lubricate, cool components,  cleans the system, inhibit corrosion, and improve sealing.  When in storage, oil can pick up moisture from condensation and additive packages in the oil can drop out.  Both miles and time cause oil to deteriorate over time.

4 - Drain water out of the fuel water separator.

Most coaches have a Water in Fuel (WIF) sensor and lamp indicator to detect the presence of water in the fuel. Water can result in inadequate lubrication of fuel system components like pumps and injectors which could result in expensive repairs.  With the engine off, drain the fuel-water separator to ensure the diesel fuel is free of water.

5 - Follow engine maintenance recommendations.

Ideally, diesel engine maintenance and oil changes occurs prior to long-term winter storage. However, if that did not take place in the fall, spring marks the time to ensure proper engine maintenance. Even if your coach has not traveled hit the mileage noted in the operating manual, we still recommend the following maintenance intervals for engine:

  • Engines 450 HP and below (ISB6.7 and ISL9) - once per year
  • Engines 500 HP and above (ISX12 and ISX15) - every 6 months.

Additional Resources

For more maintenance information before you hit the road this spring, refer to your Cummins Owner’s Manual or go to https://quickserve.cummins.com.

For customers that prefer expert maintenance done by Cummins professionals, stop by one of our 45 Coach Care facilities or 150 other distributor locations.  Be sure to ask about the Cummins Power Club which offers valuable information and discounts on parts and service for motorhome customers (www.cumminspowerclub.com).

Michael Nagel

Michael Nagel is Digital Brand Reputation Manager for Cummins Inc. He has more than 10 years of digital communications and traditional public relations experience, with a focus on social media marketing. Prior to joining Cummins, Michael was a legal marketer for the largest law firm in the state of Indiana. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Michael earned his B.A. at the Indiana University School of Journalism - Indianapolis. He currently resides in Indianapolis.

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