The road to zero carbon emissions is far from a certain route and technology companies like Cummins are developing several alternatives to meet future driveline demand in trucks.
The deepening concern about climate change globally is going to have a seismic effect in many industries. Trucking is one of those at the moment as it is totally dependent on burning fossil fuels to get the job done. If there is going to be any lessening of the effects of a warming planet, the trucking industry will have to get onboard, sooner or later.
One of the issues we are faced with is that the new technology which is likely to take over the task currently filled by diesel Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) is not certain and is not mature enough to assure trucking businesses of its effectiveness.
This lack of certainty is one of the factors leading to a level of nervousness on the part of potential truck buyers. Early adopters of these technologies may find in five- or 10-years’ time, they backed the wrong horse.
For our foremost engine maker in trucks, Cummins, the quandary is equally fraught with issues. As a result of the ongoing uncertainty, the engine maker is having to develop its technology down a number of different avenues to make sure it does have an effective solution for customers into the future.
“As we look ahead, we know that our industries, markets and customers need to change and continue to change and we’re committed to bringing our customers the right technology at the right time to power their business,” said Andrew Booth, Manager On-Highway Business Cummins WA, at the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association event. “Destination Zero is our company’s strategy to achieving net zero emissions by reducing greenhouse gases and supporting the transition to a decarbonised future.
“It’s not just the engine it’s also the well-to-wheel conditions, from creating energy to using energy to move goods and services. We are looking for wide-scale customer adoption with the net result of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
“So how do we do this? Cummins have multiple applications. We’re in rail, on-highway, agricultural, industrial power generation, marine, mining plus our data centres where we store our information in the cloud. We’ve got multiple technologies that we’re going to be using to achieve net zero emissions.
“Diesel is not dead. We’ll be advancing internal combustion engines like diesel, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, which is a hot topic of conversation, fuel cells and battery systems. Cummins is investing heavily in our future by doing things like acquiring Meritor, Jacobs Vehicle Systems, to bring that technology back in house for Cummins, to drive future technologies such as two stroke, engine braking, and cylinder deactivation for fuel economy benefits.”