Cummins develops new engines that can run on diesel and hydrogen

Cummins has announced details of what it calls the world’s first line of fuel-independent engines. The plan uses common engine blocks and other core components, while variations in cylinder head specifications allow the engines to run on different fuel types, including diesel, natural gas and hydrogen. Could this indicate that a Cummins hydrogen-powered Ram HD is in the works?

This new Cummins design approach will be applied to the company’s three main B-, L-, and X-series engine portfolios. The B-series architecture includes the 6.7L turbo ISB used in the Ram 2500 and 3500 HD pickup trucks. The Cummins L and X-Series engine portfolios are used for buses, motorhomes, semi-trucks and construction equipment, among other applications.

Each of these new Cummins fuel-independent engine platforms will spawn a series of engine versions derived from a common base. This means that everything below the head gasket of each family will be shared regardless of what type of fuel the engine is intended to use. In order to optimize the different fuel types, there will be differences in cylinder heads and injectors. It is likely that there will also be differences in the grind of the camshafts, especially when it comes to hydrogen.

Picture via Cummins

“Reaching zero is not a light switch event. The carbon emissions we release into the atmosphere today will have a lasting impact. This means that anything we can do to start reducing our carbon footprint today is a win for the planet. We must act now,” said Srikanth Padmanabhan, President of Cummins Engine Business.

“Having a variety of low-carbon options is especially important given the variation in duty cycles and operating environments across the many markets we serve. There is no single solution or “silver bullet” that will work for all types of applications. »

Cummins promises that regardless of fuel type, its next generation of B-, L-, and X-series engines will always be capable of delivering diesel-like performance. Stellantis recently announced plans for a hydrogen-powered Ram HD pickup before the end of the decade. or if the company is considering looking for a hydrogen fuel cell electric drive solution.

2020 Ram 3500 Trader. Image courtesy of FCA.

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