Power of Togetherness- 100 Cities, 2 Industry leaders, One Expo

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Celebrating 200+ Million kms covered by Cummins-powered Tata Motors’ BSVI Range of vehicles

On the occasion of successful completion of over 200 million kms , Cummins in India is collaborating with Tata Motors to participate in the Power of 6 Expo. Organized by Tata Motors, the “Power of 6 Expo Campaign” has been initiated to enhance the external stakeholder awareness about the Tata Motors’ Power of 6 philosophy and the value proposition offered by Cummins-powered BSVI commercial vehicles. The campaign also provides a forum for fleet owners, truck drivers and mechanics to experience the ease in drivability of the vehicles as well as educating them about the long-term sales and service value proposition from the industry leaders.

Covering 100 cities pan India, the campaign is planned to be conducted in two phases. The Phase one of the campaign has kicked off in March and covered Guwahati, Nagaon and Patna in East, Hyderabad, Hubli, Belgaum in South, and Kanpur and Agra in the North zone. Phase two of the campaign has been planned in the subsequent months of Q1 FY 23 with almost 8-10 cities planned every month.

The expo, being held in enclosed open venues at select cities, covers various pavilions such as the AV pavilion, gamer corner and VAS pavilion. Key highlights of Cummins India’s participation at the expo-

  1. Elaborate display of a range of BSIV / BSVI components such as ATS , ETV , filters and turbochargers at the exclusive Cummins booth
  2. Training van equipped with LCD TV’s, Engine parts cut section, SCR system cut section and BSIV engine stationed near the Cummins booth
  3. Distribution of Cummins manufactured masks to truck drivers and mechanics

 

Cummins India participation at Power of 6 Expo

Commercial Director – Engine Business and Engine & Components Aftermarket, Cummins India, Mohan Ramachandran stated “India moved to the stringent BSVI emission norms exactly two years ago. With the pandemic now almost behind us, markets opening backed by a great milestone of 200+ million kms of coverage and 130K+ BSVI engines sold since the launch, the expo comes at an opportune time to interact first-hand with our stakeholders- influencers and decision makers to reinforce the strengths of the Cummins SCR technology and its value proposition of fuel efficiency, simplicity of use, reliability and ease in service availability leading to lower TCO.”

The event has witnessed grand success in March with over 850 customers including fleet owners, drivers and mechanics visiting the EXPO in the 8 days that the event was conducted in March alone.

 

Three key take-aways from ACT Expo 2022

Tom Linebarger presenting a PowerPoint

More than 8,600 people traveled to Long Beach, California to attend the recent Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, North America’s largest advanced transportation technology and clean fleet event. Major retailers were in attendance looking to decarbonize their fleets, gaining insight into the latest developments, policies, and technologies in clean transportation solutions. 

ACT Expo Booth on display with engines and truck

This year’s ACT Expo featured the largest collection of clean vehicle and fuel solutions the industry has ever seen, with nearly 200 exhibitors on hand. If you couldn’t make it out to Long Beach this year, here are three key takeaways from the 2022 ACT Expo.

1. Hydrogen is a promising solution for the demanding requirements of heavy-duty trucking. 

Hydrogen has a lot going for it, including a couple of possible powertrain options for the future: hydrogen fuel cells and internal combustion engines. Hydrogen is energy dense and, when produced with renewable electricity, it’s considered “green” and carbon free. 

Hydrogen fuel cells are a zero-emissions solution with the flexibility, power and range that long-haul, heavy-duty trucks require. Compared to battery electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles also offer fast fueling and lighter weight – hydrogen tanks weigh thousands of pounds less than battery packs on electric trucks, which also cut into cargo capacity. 

Internal combustion engines powered by H2, like the 15-liter X15H Cummins debuted in Long Beach, can use zero-carbon fuel at a lower initial price than a fuel-cell or battery-electric vehicle, with little modification to today's vehicles. Additionally, Cummins plans to release a 6.7-liter hydrogen engine that like the 15-liter, will be built on Cummins’ new fuel-agnostic platform where below the head gasket, each fuel type’s engine has largely similar components, and above the head gasket, each has different components for different fuel types. 

While battery electric and fuel cell electric powertrains are key to achieving a net-zero future, the pairing of green hydrogen with the proven technology of internal combustion engines provides an important complement to future zero-emissions solutions. Put simply: these engines look like engines, they sound like engines and fit where engines normally fit. 

Cummins also announced it will collaborate with Daimler Truck North America (DTNA, Portland, Ore., U.S.) to upfit and validate Freightliner Cascadia trucks with a Cummins fourth generation hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for use in North America. First units are slated to be available in 2024.

2. Natural gas is an immediate and cost-effective solution to achieve not only net-zero carbon operations, but negative carbon emissions. 

The California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership (CNGVP) was in attendance to promote natural gas fuel technology and its immediate carbon-negative benefits. In 2021, approximately 98% of natural gas used for transportation in California came from methane emitted by renewable sources, including landfill waste, livestock manure, wastewater treatment plants, food and green waste, dead trees, and agricultural waste. Capturing and harnessing the methane emissions from these sources as a renewable fuel is the most immediate and effective step that can be taken to reduce GHG emissions, as reported by the world’s leading climate scientists during the COP26 summit in Scotland in November 2021. 

Natural gas engines on display at ACT expo

There’s no trade off when it comes to performance, either. Cummins displayed its near-zero emissions X15N 15-liter natural gas engine for the North American freight transportation market, which offers reduced package size and weight compared to diesel, and power and torque curves almost identical to diesel. Designed as a solution for Class 8 freight trucks, the engine offers ratings up to 500 hp and 1,850 ft-lbs. of torque, enabling fleets to achieve powerful performance even in mountainous terrains. Typical tank packages on natural gas trucks allow for at least 750 miles of driving between refueling, which can be accomplished in only 15 minutes.

Trucks powered by Cummins’ X15N engine will have a lower total cost of operation (TCO) than their diesel counterparts. This engine will arrive in production in the U.S. in 2024

3. The decarbonization challenge in transportation is too great for a single solution.

If there was anything to be learned from walking the floor at this year’s expo, it is that there are many solutions along the path to zero, and incremental improvements can have big benefits. The challenge to achieve zero emissions in the commercial transportation industry is greater because of the significant diversity of applications, unlike passenger cars—and reaching net-zero emissions won’t be a “light switch” event. The industry needs multiple solutions to meet the needs of all on- and off-highway customers and all applications considering the variety of duty cycles and operating environments. Infrastructure investment, regulatory advancements, and customer requirements all drive the pace of transition.

Cummins is embracing the opportunity to be part of the solution to the problem of climate change by pursuing reductions of GHGs from both internal combustion engines and new technologies through its Destination Zero strategy. The commitment to net-zero emissions requires changes to Cummins’ products and the energy sources that power them, and this work requires collaboration and leadership from governments, utilities, and other industries. Because so many partners will influence these changes, Cummins employees around the world are working in their communities to move this important work forward. 

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.

Natural gas engines: Questions answered

Natural gas engines: Questions answered

When it comes to natural gas engines, there are a range of frequently asked questions about the cost, practicality, and feasibility of integrating natural gas into commercial fleets. There are certainly preparations that need to be considered, but the learning curve to implement natural gas engines is not as steep as people may think, especially in comparison to the benefits of natural gas in transportation applications

In this article we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to adding natural gas engines to your commercial vehicle fleet. 

Can a diesel engine run on natural gas? 

The short answer is no. If you fueled a diesel engine with natural gas it simply wouldn’t start. Diesel engines can’t run on natural gas because natural gas combustion requires spark plugs. Diesel engines cause fuel to ignite through compression. To self-ignite, natural gas would need to be compressed at a ratio far greater than what internal combustion engines can apply. 

However, there are specially modified engines which can run on either diesel or natural gas. Vehicles with this type of engine, which are known as bi-fuel or dual fuel engines, feature two fuel systems and can switch between one fuel and another as needed. For example, if their compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinder runs out and there is no CNG station nearby, operators can simply flip a switch and keep driving on diesel. There are also engines which use diesel and natural gas at the same time. In these engines, diesel provides ignition and natural gas provides power. Such engines are especially popular in stationary oil and gas drilling applications. If natural gas is being extracted, it can be used to fuel the engines. If no natural gas is available, the engines can revert to using diesel. The Cummins QSK 50 engine, for example, is a popular dual fuel engine commonly used in oil and gas applications.  

Can a natural gas engine run on renewable natural gas?

Absolutely! The option to run on renewable natural gas (RNG) is a big reason fleets switch to natural gas vehicles. While virgin natural gas has many sustainability benefits, including 13% – 17% lower well-to-wheel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 27% lower CO2 emissions than petroleum. But the environmental benefits really shine when using RNG made with biogas. 

For fuels beyond RNG, you can learn more on how natural gas compares to LPG, LNG, and diesel here.  

What are the environmental benefits of RNG? 

Depending on the energy source, the carbon intensity of renewable natural gas can be neutral or even sub-zero. How is that even possible, you might ask?  

It’s because the main elements of RNG come from biogas, which is the fermentation of organic waste in places like landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, or industrial agriculture waste digesters. Biogas like methane is captured during this treatment process, preventing it from ever being emitted into the atmosphere. This carbon intensity score factors into the total well-to-wheel emissions calculation of the vehicle.  

Refined biogas is functionally indistinguishable from fossil natural gas and can be used as a natural gas substitute. If interested, learn more about the production and processing of biogas, natural gas, and other low carbon fuels.  

Is it cheaper to run natural gas engines? 

Most of the time, yes. Natural gas vehicles require less maintenance than diesel vehicles equipped with post combustion exhaust treatment systems. They also result in significantly lower fuel costs. In the United States, the average retail fuel price has been significantly lower than the average retail price of both gasoline and diesel for more than 20 years. Retail natural gas prices are also more stable than the price of other fossil fuels.  

Payback on a natural gas vehicle is dependent on several factors, including the specific application, duty-cycle, number of miles driven per year and the cost of fuel compared to diesel. But by most metrics, natural gas delivers a lower total cost of operation than diesel.  

Do natural gas engines start better than diesel engines in cold weather? 

No engine is completely immune to cold-weather challenges. Some issues are common to most vehicles, including those using an internal combustion engine. One issue natural gas engines sometimes experience in freezing weather is a loss of power by the battery. There are also potential issues specific to the use of natural gas. For example, the O-rings in the fueling receptacle can become frozen, preventing the fuel nozzle from coupling correctly with the receptacle.  

There are two cold weather difficulties that diesel drivers face, which natural gas drivers will never experience. The first is, unlike diesel, natural gas does not turn to gel when it is cold. Regardless of temperature, natural gas is entirely gaseous when it enters the engine. Methane, the main constituent of natural gas, has a boiling point of -258°F, or -161 °C.  

The other difficulty is caused by the diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF, in diesel vehicles. DEF largely consists of water and can easily freeze. Storing and handling DEF in cold weather can be challenging. Because natural gas burns cleanly and with minimal NOx (nitrogen oxides) formation, natural gas vehicles have no need for heavy-duty DEF-consuming NOx scrubbers. As a result, DEF and DEF-related problems are unknown to natural gas vehicle drivers.  

Who makes natural gas engines? 

Cummins Inc. and several other manufacturers of heavy and medium-duty engines have an extensive portfolio of natural gas engines suitable for a large variety of on-road, off-road and stationary applications. Most truck and bus makers have product lines featuring natural gas engines, so businesses  interested in exploring natural gas options can usually do so with their preferred truck maker. Learn more about Cummins’ full line of natural gas engines. 

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.

Natural gas engines vs. diesel engines

Natural gas engines versus diesel engines - how do they compare?

From tractor trailers and transit buses to delivery trucks and terminal tractors, fleets have traditionally relied on diesel engines to provide the torque, reliability and durability needed by heavy-duty commercial applications. Natural gas engines, however, have emerged as a great alternative to diesel. Drivers, mechanics, and fleet managers appreciate natural gas engines for a variety of reasons.

Drivers find that natural gas engines have similar performance and drivability as diesel engines. The leading difference between natural gas and diesel engines is noise; natural gas engines are quieter.

Natural gas offers convenient refueling options

Natural gas also improves the refueling experience for many fleet drivers. In a world of several alternative fuel options for commercial vehicles ranging from natural gas to liquified petroleum gas (LPG); natural gas can be used in a vehicle in either compressed or liquefied form. For fleets with behind the fence refueling capability, natural gas refueling stations can be set up on site to ensure that each vehicle has a dedicated fuel hose. There are two basic types of fueling equipment: fast-fill and time-fill.

Fast-fill systems combine a compressor and a high-pressure storage system. The storage system, called a cascade, fills the vehicle's fuel tank in about the same time it takes to fuel a diesel vehicle. Compressed natural gas can’t spill during refueling and drivers never go home smelling of diesel.

Time-fill systems don’t have a storage system and typically compress the gas directly into the vehicle storage cylinders to refuel vehicles while they’re parked overnight. With time-fill systems, drivers pull into their designated space at the end of their shift, connect a fuel hose to their vehicle’s natural gas cylinder and go home. Drivers don’t need to wait for their turn at the diesel pump and don’t need to wait again until their tank is full. This saves them time and saves their company money.

Natural gas exhaust systems are cheaper and easier to maintain than diesel aftertreatment systems

There are no complicated exhaust gas aftertreatment systems on natural gas vehicles. Modern diesel trucks require a set of sensors, filters and converters to scrub pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and soot from their exhaust. Some converters consume diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF, a water-based reagent whose handling can be challenging in cold weather. Natural gas burns much cleaner than diesel, so few or none of these systems are required on a natural gas vehicle. All of the exhaust is run through a simple three-way catalyst, resulting in near zero NOx levels (0.02 g/bhp-hr NOx).

It is important to closely follow recommended maintenance intervals with natural gas engines, but with proper maintenance, it’s not uncommon for natural gas trucks to reach a million miles. And mechanics often find that maintaining a natural gas engine can be a more pleasant experience because of how clean they are.

Natural gas promotes cost savings

Besides enjoying savings in terms of lower maintenance costs and reduced maintenance downtime, fleet managers can also save big on fuel costs. In the United States, the retail price of compressed natural gas has been consistently lower than the price of diesel since the start of the shale gas boom in the early 2000s. It is also decoupled from the price of oil, and therefore has been quite stable. As a result, natural gas fleet operators don’t experience wild swings in fuel prices that other fleets must deal with whenever oil prices rise and the cost of diesel jumps. This comes in addition to all the other benefits natural gas engines offer for transportation applications.

Natural gas cuts greenhouse gas emissions

Natural gas has many sustainability benefits, including 13% – 17% lower well-to-wheel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 27% lower CO2 emissions than petroleum when using virgin natural gas. The benefits really shine when using renewable natural gas (RNG) made with biogas.

RNG can help fleets reach sub-zero GHG emission levels because producing RNG captures biogas like methane that would have otherwise been emitted into the atmosphere through natural decomposition. This biogas comes from the fermentation of organic waste such as animal manure in industrial digesters. Switching to renewable natural gas can be an effective way for these businesses to reach any greenhouse gas reduction objectives they may have. Many transportation businesses operating in agricultural areas have found ways to create win-win partnerships with local farmers willing to invest in a renewable gas production setup. Municipalities and refuse companies that own landfills are able to capture methane generated through waste decomposition and sell that to the RNG fuel producers, essentially offsetting their fuel costs.

If natural gas engines are relevant to your needs, don’t forget to also check our answers to frequently asked questions about natural gas engines. These answers cover topics such as cost, practicality, and feasibility of integrating natural gas into commercial fleets. You can also learn more about Cummins’ natural gas product line and explore the company’s product offerings.

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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.

Natural gas (CNG) vs. LPG, LNG, RNG and Diesel

Gas pump

Commercial vehicle fleet managers face a dizzying array of options when it is time to replace or upgrade vehicles. One question that fleet managers often ask is whether there are any good fuel options available to their business besides diesel or gasoline. Alternative fuels, including natural gas, have grown in popularity in recent years due to their broad appeal. Considering a full or partial switch to an alternative fuel is more often than not a question worth asking. Here is how the main fuel options compare to each other. 

Compressed Natural Gas vs. Diesel 

Natural gas is a great choice for many types of heavy and medium-duty vehicles because it burns cleanly. Anyone who has replaced an oil furnace with a natural gas furnace in their home knows this. Oil furnaces produce soot and must have their flue cleaned regularly. Natural gas furnaces, in contrast, can be vented through the side of the house. You will never see any trace of soot on the wall above the vent because the combustion of natural gas doesn’t produce any. It’s the same thing with natural gas vehicles—they don’t generate particulate matter or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and they don’t require difficult to maintain exhaust treatment systems. Beyond the environmental aspects, the benefits of natural gas engines are reliability and financial. 

If interested, don’t’ forget to dive deeper in natural gas engines vs. diesel engines

Natural gas vs. LPG 

LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas, is a mixture of light hydrocarbons. In the U.S. and in Canada, LPG consists of at least 90% of propane, with the balance made up of other gases including butane. This is why LPG is sometimes simply known as propane. In other countries, the composition of LPG can vary. In Mexico, for example, LPG’s propane content can be as low as 60%.  

Natural gas, in contrast, is almost entirely made up of methane. If you have a gas grill, then LPG is what you use for your cookouts. If your home has a gas furnace, then natural gas is what keeps it warm (LPG or propane furnaces are also available). 

In vehicle applications, LPG and natural gas present many of the same benefits. Both burn cleanly and silently, can help reduce maintenance vehicle costs, and can eliminate most cold weather start problems. LPG is the third most widely used motor fuel in the world behind gasoline and diesel, and so LPG tends to be easier to find. According to the US Department of Energy, there are almost 2,000 publicly accessible LPG fueling stations in the United States and Canada.  

Compressed Natural Gas, in comparison, is only available at less than half that number of stations. (Both numbers are dwarfed by the number of gas stations dispensing gasoline, which is greater than 100,000). 

Compressed Natural Gas vs. Liquefied Natural Gas 

Compressed Natural Gas, or CNG, and Liquefied Natural Gas, or LNG, are the same substance. CNG is received and stored a vehicle’s tank is gaseous form. To obtain LNG, natural gas is compressed and cooled to extremely low temperatures, at which point it turns to liquid. LNG can then be shipped, stored, and used to fill the tanks of LNG vehicles. Much of the global natural gas trade occurs in the form of LNG. Some countries, such as South Korea and Japan, receive almost all of the natural gas they use in LNG form.  

In vehicle applications, the main advantage that LNG has over CNG is that it is more dense. For two tanks of the same size, the LNG tank will allow a vehicle to drive further than the CNG tank. This makes LNG an interesting option for heavy trucks traveling long distances.  

LNG, however, is more complicated to use, and is not widely available. LNG fueling stations require complex cryogenic equipment. There are only about 55 public-access LNG stations in the United States, and most are located at industrial facilities where natural gas is processed.  LNG is also more hazardous than CNG. One safety concern results from the need for LNG vehicles to vent off fumes. LNG vehicles do not normally come with LNG cooling systems, so LNG tanks tend to gain heat. The heat gains cause some of the LNG to vaporize. Eventually, the vapors need to be vented to avoid excessive pressure build ups. This is why LNG vehicles should never be parked in interior garages unless special ventilation is installed. LNG, being very cold, can also cause freeze burn. Contact with LNG, LNG vapors and the uninsulated surfaces of LNG fuel system components should also be avoided, and drivers and mechanics need to be trained in LNG safety. 

Natural gas vs. Renewable Natural Gas 

Chemically, natural gas and renewable natural gas are almost identical. Natural gas vehicles can run on renewable natural gas without experiencing any difference. Natural gas and renewable natural gas differ in their origin. Natural gas, like oil, is extracted from fossil resources present in the ground. Renewable natural gas is obtained by fermenting organic waste such as sewage sludge or animal manure in large industrial tanks known as digesters. After some processing, the gases given off by the fermentation process can be used interchangeably with fossil natural gas.

Switching to renewable natural gas is a great way for businesses operating fleets of vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint. It can be produced at almost any dairy farm using relatively low tech equipment. It can be used to fuel nearly any CNG vehicle. If it is not practical to fuel a vehicle entirely on renewable natural gas, then blending with fossil natural gas is possible. Even then, the use of renewable natural gas will result in an instant reduction in CO2 emissions without the need to invest in any upgrades or modifications to the vehicle.  

If natural gas engines are relevant to your needs, don’t forget to also check our answers to frequently asked questions about natural gas engines. These answers cover topics such as cost, practicality, and feasibility of integrating natural gas into commercial fleets.  

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.

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