Cummins unveils 15-liter hydrogen engine at ACT Expo
The X15H is built on Cummins’ new fuel independent platform, full production in 2027
VSummins unveiled a 15L hydrogen engine at ACT Expo in Long Beach, California in May. Built on Cummins’ new fuel-independent platform announced earlier this year, it is expected to enter full production in 2027. Cummins also plans to launch a 6.7-litre hydrogen engine.
It was part of an exhibit demonstrating Cummins’ Destination Zero strategy for major highway markets, which aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Along with the new X15H, Cummins introduced its X15N natural gas engine; its new B6.7 Propane engine; its fuel cell electric demonstrator truck; a terminal tractor with the PowerDrive 8000 battery-electric system; and a Blue Bird battery-electric school bus powered by Cummins.
Cummins X15H engine
The X15H is built on a new fuel-independent engine 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 types of fuel.
Cummins announced the hydrogen internal combustion technology test in July last year. Company officials say they achieved impressive results early on, already hitting production horsepower and torque targets (over 810 foot-pounds of torque and 290 horsepower from the medium-duty engine). Additional testing on more advanced prototypes will begin soon, the company said.
The engine will be a carbon-free solution for several markets. Cummins intends to produce hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines in the 15L and 6.7L displacements, believing that these engines will enable the industry to reduce emissions this decade.
“Our customers are responding positively to this convenient technology,” said Jim Nebergall, general manager of hydrogen engines. “These motors look like motors, they sound like motors and fit where motors normally fit.”
Cummins said the key was pairing the engine with clean, carbon-free hydrogen fuel.
“Reducing carbon emissions from well to wheels requires innovation in power sources and power solutions,” said Srikanth Padmanabhan, president of Cummins’ engine business. “While the use cases for battery and fuel cell electric powertrains are promising, the combination of green hydrogen in proven internal combustion engine technology provides an important complement to future zero-emissions solutions.”
Hydrogen internal combustion engines can use carbon-free fuel at a lower initial price than a fuel cell or battery-electric vehicle with little modification from today’s vehicles, Cummins said.
However, that doesn’t mean Cummins is slowing down its development of hydrogen fuel cells. Cummins and Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) announced that they are collaborating to equip and validate Freightliner Cascadia trucks with a Cummins hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for use in North America.
A Cummins demonstration truck is equipped with a fuel cell and battery power system. The truck was designed with professional applications in mind, such as regional transport, urban delivery, port drayage and container handling in terminals.
The demo truck uses a fuel cell electric powertrain that replaces a conventional internal combustion engine. The electric motor is powered by high voltage batteries and fuel cell motors. While driving the vehicle, the system operates dual Cummins HD90 fuel cell engines to dynamically manage the charging of the high voltage batteries based on the power load requirements of vehicle operation. The energy storage comprises seven hydrogen tanks with a total of 32 kg of hydrogen compressed to 350 bar, and it is equipped with seven high-voltage batteries, each with a capacity of 53.4 kWh offering a range of about 200 miles.