Cummins Inc next-generation battery-electric system is a testimony of the company’s investment and innovations in electrified power.

Story by: Ashish Bhatia

Cummins Inchas signalled a significant step forward for accessible and zero-emission design. At Buswrold Europa 2019, the company unveiled its next-generation Battery Electric System (BES), a new low-profile battery. A testimony of the company’s advances in powertrain technology for the European bus market, the technology assumes significance owing to its availability for use in other markets the world over. Designed for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to meet European low floor requirements, it will aid OEMs to meet European low floor requirements while facilitating a low centre of gravity and maximising the utilisation of unoccupied space. The new BES will be offered as part of a broader modular platform. The new low-profile battery is claimed to use the latest in cell technology and is claimed to offer high energy density and packaging efficiency. Averred Julie Furber, Vice President of Electrified Power at Cummins, “The next generation Battery Electric System is an exciting glimpse of Cummins’ future product plan for electrified powertrains.” “As electric vehicles gather momentum in the public transport sector, designing batteries with faster charging and a longer range will be a breakthrough technological shift and doing so in the form that meets regulatory requirements and at a competitive price is a vital step for the industry,” she opined.

Measuring under 140 mm in height, in the 8.9 m long bus, the low profile battery was displayed as part of the complete BES. It was displayed alongside products from Cummins’ existing portfolio including the high energy BP74E batteries mounted in the roof and the Cummins System Controller. Attention was also drawn to the new Cummins Integrated e-Drive. A single unit of traction system, it is said to combine motor, transmission and inverter into a single lightweight system. Together with the BP393 battery which brings the latest Cummins battery technology to the fore, the products are a crucial part of the company’s future product roadmap. Explains Furber, “Coupled with the global support offered by the Cummins network, this system combines the reliability customers expect of Cummins with the efficiency of next-generation electric drivetrains in a form factor designed for easy adoption. As per a company statistic, a Cummins powered electric bus can reduce CO2 emissions over a one-kilometre range by 600 gms in comparison to a Cummins B4.5 diesel engine powered bus.

Future of Fleets

The company’s whitepaper ‘Future of Fleets’ is aimed at spurring collaboration and market growth for electrified powertrains in commercial vehicles. Designed to be a timely point of reference for decision-makers within the commercial vehicle sector, Cummins has identified the technological, infrastructural, economic and regulatory factors as key to electrification. Opines Furber that the company’s latest piece of work can serve as a resource for those who are either starting out or continuing their journey to commercial fleets that run on electrified power. Drafted with inputs from leading companies working on electrification, the whitepaper calls for collaboration within and between the public and private sectors. It considers it vital to diversify the country’s traffic to low emissions vehicles. Cummins has earmarked USD 500 million into electrified power generation, particularly in the realm of research and development. The company will continue to work on optimising battery design. Of the belief that the use of innovative materials for anode and cathode manufacturing can have a significant positive impact on both the battery’s capacity, the cost per kilowatt-hour, in maximizing battery life, optimising the charge rates, managing the temperature range and in ensuring safety.

Julie Furber, Vice President of Electrified Power, Cummins.

The company further expects ‘vehicle-to-grid’ technology to be a major benefit of electrification. Feeding the stored power from instance from a school bus back to the grid is expected to benefit the power network at large through load balancing against the changing demand patterns especially when production from renewable sources fluctuates. Cumins’ has identified an opportunity to defray the costs of electrification given that it estimates the financial benefits as a result to lower the total cost of ownership of EVs. To make it a win-win proposition, the company calls for greater collaboration between CV operators, utilities, legislators and technology vendors. In effect what this means is that the utility companies in the state could purchase electric school buses and lease them to schools with the potential to lower the upfront financial barrier to entry. Sustainability and grid stability could also be improved as a result. The whitepaper further warns the industry of ignoring the Osborne effect. As per the latter, the promise of a better technology tomorrow delays valuable adoption today.

 Planet 2050 Strategy

Cummins Inc recently announced environment sustainability goals to 2030 and aspirations for 2050 in a bid to do its part in addressing climate change and other global environmental challenges. As per a release, Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO at Cummins Inc outlines science-based goals for products and facilities in 2030 aligned to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These goals are designed to limit the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century. Carbon neutral technologies that address air quality, and designing out waste in products and processes form the long term aspirations of the company’s strategy. Of the firm belief that the company’s growth is directly linked to the latter using fewer of the world’s resources, Linebarger outlined how the new strategy builds on the success of goals announced by the company in 2014 and timed to 2020. The company continues to work on the targets including reduction of energy and water use as well as CO2 emission from the products.

Eight 2030 goals of the company pertaining to the parts, products and company managed facilities and operations. Further classified into two categories: Goals addressing climate change and air emissions, and using natural resources in the most sustainable manner, the company will evaluate the progress made on the 2030 goals in a bid to decide on the shortcomings if any on the global energy and environmental challenges.

Climate change and air emissions

  • Reduce absolute Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from facilities and operations by 50 per cent (science-based target).
  • Reduce absolute lifetime GHG emissions from newly sold products by 25 per cent (science-based target).
  • Partner with customers to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from products in the field by 55 million metric tonnes.

Using natural resources in the most sustainable way

  • Create a circular life-cycle plan for every part to use less, use better, use again.
  • Generate 25 per cent less waste in facilities and operations as a per cent of revenue.
  • Reuse or responsibly recycle 100 per cent of packaging plastics and eliminate single-use plastics in dining facilities, employee events and amenities.
  • Reduce absolute water consumption in facilities and operations by 30 per cent
  • Aspirations for 2050

The 2050 targets of the company are based on the goals for 2030. Mentioned Brian Mormino, Executive Director Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance, “Our vision for 2050 is a world where Cummins powers the world’s really important to work with carbon-neutral products and operations.” “Since our communities and business depend on a healthier planet, we will take strong action on climate change and work towards a future where we waste nothing and ensure that our communities are better because we are there,” he added.

Climate change and air emissions

  • Customer success is powered by carbon-neutral technologies that address air quality.
  • Carbon neutrality and near-zero pollution in Cummins’ facilities and operations.

Using natural resources in the most sustainable way

  •  Design out waste in products and processes.
  • Use materials again for the next life.
  •  Reuse water and return clean to the community.

Improving communities

  • Net positive impact in every community where Cummins operates.
  • Near zero environmental footprint                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       IndianOil inks agreement with Cummins Technologies

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. has inked an agreement with Cummins Technologies India Pvt Limited. As per the agreement, the two will collaborate for Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) bulk dispensing of IOC ClearBlue. To be recommended for all diesel engines with Cummins Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to reduce emissions, the agreement was signed in Mumbai, in the presence of Subimal Mondal, Executive Director (Lubes), IndianOil, and Anjali Pandey, Vice President (Engine Business Unit and Component Business), Cummins India. Mentioned Subimal Mondal, “With this collaboration, IOC ClearBlue is recommended for use in all diesel vehicles that have Cummins engines or any other engines with Cummins SCR technology.” “IOC ClearBlue adheres to the highest quality standards by meeting IOC 22241 and AdBlue certification”, he claimed. Said Anjali Pandey, Vice President (Engine Business Unit and Component Business), Cummins India, “At Cummins, we understand the need of the market. With this initiative, IndianOil’s innovation in a DEF – IOC ClearBlue delivers superior results that ensure emissions controls. The SCR systems expected to require DEF, an aqueous urea solution, for effective reduction in Nitrogen oxide emissions. Bulk dispensing of DEF is claimed to be in line with global trends and is said to offer better cost viability to truck and bus owners, as compared to packed products. It is here that the technical prowess of Cummins combined with the bulk dispensing expertise of IndianOil is expected to benefit the customer.

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