Cummins Inc. unveiled its latest innovation, a heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell truck. The demonstration vehicle was unveiled at the 2019 North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta.
Cummins’ strategy is to provide its customers with a broad portfolio of power options, from diesel and natural gas, hybrids, to battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell solutions.
“Developing this cutting-edge hydrogen fuel cell truck as a technology demonstrator is an important step in gaining valuable insights that are critical to continue developing the right solutions for the market and preparing for the next 100 years. Some companies make headlines talking about the future, but we’re busy building for the future,” said Thad Ewald, Vice President, Corporate Strategy at Cummins and leader of the company’s Electrified Power segment.
“In the long-run, the customers we serve will likely need more than one type of power, depending on their specific markets, applications and use cases. We are uniquely positioned to help our customers select the right solution for their needs. Our deep technological expertise and global service and support network means we are able to help them transition from one technology to another at the time that’s best for their business.”
The zero-emissions class 8, 6×4 day cab tractor is a technology demonstrator suitable for vocational applications, including regional haul, urban delivery operations, port drayage and terminal container handling.
The truck was designed and integrated by Cummins in Columbus, Indiana and includes a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell from Hydrogenics, a recent addition to Cummins. The truck was designed for a 90 kW fuel cell and is scalable in 30 kW or 45 kW increments up to 180 kW and has a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery capacity.
The truck has a range of 150 to 250 miles between filling up, however, that range can be extended with additional hydrogen tanks, by increasing the tank storage pressure, or by installing additional fuel cells to optimize management of the vehicle load factor. Many of the critical components of the powertrain including the PEM fuel cell, system controller, powertrain controls, wire harnesses and junction boxes, among others, were designed and developed by Cummins.
To help all original equipment manufacturing (OEM) customers and end user envision how Cummins’ fuel cell power can enable their success, the truck has been intentionally designed without collaboration from any of the company’s OEM partners.
Cummins has made several recent announcements around fuel cells like the acquisition of Hydrogenics, a memo of understanding with Hyundai Motor Company to collaborate on hydrogen fuel cell technology across commercial markets in North America and an investment in Loop Energy, a fuel cell electric range extender provider.