Cummins may announce its first electrified powertrain for 2019 at Busworld Kortrijk, a new internal organisation designed to streamline innovation called Digital Accelerator, and an increased investment in alternative power technologies like electrification, fuel cells and hydrogen.
Cummins sees the urban market as the first adopter with the highest need for electrified powertrains to reduce emissions. While the company has been researching electric power sources for over a decade, it believes now is the time to release this option as the component prices have finally reduced to become a viable option for specific duty cycles. Competition in the commercial and industrial markets is increasing from the likes of Tesla and Uber, but the manufacturer, best known for its engines, believes it can continue to lead due to its history of knowing and delivering on customers’ needs over the past century.
Not only is electric powertrain an area of focus for Cummins, but other digital technologies are becoming another core competency going forward. Telematics have been on diesel engines for years, but increases in digital monitoring have caused escalated data production and analytics needs.
Other alternative power sources like proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technologies are being researched. Cummins partnered with Microsoft to test whether a fuel cell power source was viable for a data centre in Seattle, which led the computer giant to estimate that this could double the energy efficiency of the Cloud with this model.