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CUMMINS DEVELOPING FUEL-AGNOSTIC ENGINES, INCLUDING HYDROGEN

Cummins Hydrogen Ram HD, Anyone?

Ram 2500 3500 HD Heavy Duty Cummins Diesel
Photo via Ram

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

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

Each of these new Cummins fuel-agnostic engine platforms will spawn a series of engine versions derived from a common base. Meaning everything below the head gasket of each family will be shared regardless of the fuel type the engine is destined to utilize. In order to optimize the various fuel types, there will be differences in the cylinder heads and injectors. It’s likely there will be differences in camshaft grinds as well, especially when it comes to hydrogen.

Image via Cummins

“Getting to zero is not a light-switch event. Carbon emissions that we put into the atmosphere today will have a lasting impact. This means anything we can do to start reducing the carbon footprint today is a win for the planet. We need to take action now,” said Srikanth Padmanabhan, president, Cummins Engine Business.

“Having a variety of lower carbon options is particularly important considering the variation in duty cycles and operating environments across the many markets we serve. There is no single solution or ‘magic bullet’ that will work for all application types.”

Cummins promises that no matter the fuel type, its next generation of B, L, and X-Series engines will still be capable of providing diesel-like performance. Stellantis recently announced plans for a hydrogen-powered Ram HD pickup before the end of the decade, it’s unclear if the company is planning to work with Cummins to offer a hydrogen-powered B-series inline 6 alongside the diesel version of the popular engine, or if the company is planning to pursue a hydrogen fuel-cell electric drive solution.

2020 Ram 3500 Tradesman. Image Courtesy of FCA.

Written by Michael Accardi

Michael refuses to sit still, he's held multiple hands-on automotive jobs throughout his life. Along with being an investigative writer and accomplished photographer, Michael has wrenched on Fords as a dealership mechanic, worked with air-cooled Porsches in a small shop in Toronto, as well as Nautique ski boats in cottage country. Additionally, he was part of the Ford GT program at Multimatic, oversaw a fleet of Audi TCR racecars, and cared for GT3 Cup cars. Currently he's working with a Duqueine LMP3 in the IMSA WeatherTech paddock.

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