A grocery wholesaler in Norway is running Cummins fuel cell power in Scania trucks in an evaluation project to test the technology’s viability in longer range road transport. While electric power may prove to be the eventual solution in short range trucks, the fuel cell is fast becoming the favourite to provide a low carbon alternative to diesel in long range trucking.
The relationship between Scania and Cummins has been strong for some time. The pair jointly manufacture both turbos and fuel injection systems. More recently the new seven litre engine in the lower end of the Scania truck range is one developed using a Cummins engine block.
The four trucks running in Norway for grocery wholesale company Asko, with the Cummins fuel cell power in Scania trucks, feature a 395hp (290kW) electric motor (with 210 kW available continuously), a two-speed transmission and 2,200Nm peak torque.
There is also a 56kWh Lithium-ion battery and a 90kW Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell. A PEM uses hydrogen exclusively as the fuel, utilising the chemical energy of hydrogen to generate electricity.
Unlike a battery, a fuel cell system does not store energy. Instead, it relies on a constant supply of fuel and oxygen in the same way that a diesel engine relies on a constant supply of diesel and oxygen.
The on-board charger uses 22kW AC to recharge the on board battery, and hydrogen storage is 33kg at 350 bar. The vehicle can travel between 400 and 500km on a single refuelling.
“We’re always looking for new solutions to power a more prosperous world, but the world has changed a lot since Cummins first opened for business,” said Amy Adams, Vice President Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies at Cummins in the US. “That’s why we’re living out our brand promise of innovation and dependability by expanding into new power sources.
“Just as Cummins transformed diesel into a reliable, everyday power source 100 years ago, we now recognise hydrogen’s potential to transform mobility and fuelling infrastructure to make fuel cells accessible on a large scale. We’re excited to have recently welcomed fuel cell and hydrogen production leader Hydrogenics as the newest addition to Cummins.
“Hydrogenics’ talents, expertise and track record of delivering innovative hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen generation solutions made them stand out from other companies in the space. And because there are so many similarities between Hydrogenics and Cummins we knew we could form the perfect team.”
The acquisition of Hydrogenics was shortly followed by an announcement that the company has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai Motor Company to jointly evaluate opportunities to develop and commercialise electric and fuel cell powertrains.