Future-proofing: Cummins Wants to Sell You More Than Just Diesels
It’s hard to hear the name Cummins and not immediately think of a Ram pickup struggling valiantly to pull a gnarled tree stump out of the unyielding earth. Certainly, the company’s diesel inline-six and V8 engines are to the truck world what Nike is to professional sports.
While Cummins’ fossil fuel-powered engines and power systems show no signs of becoming passé, a company ignores the future at its own peril. The green revolution is afoot, we’re told, and internal combustion power will one day occupy the niche currently inhabited by electric propulsion. With this in mind, Cummins has a plan.
During a teleconference Thursday, company executives outlined what the near future holds.
“As a global power leader for the commercial and industrial markets we serve, we are better positioned than any other company to win in new and emerging technologies,” said Tom Linebarger, Cummins Chairman and CEO. “Over the past 100 years, our ability to innovate and adapt has fueled our success and we are confident we are on the right path to do it again at this critical juncture. We are prepared to provide a range of power technologies to our customers from diesel and natural gas to fully electric and hybrid powertrains to ensure they always have the best solution for their application.”
That 6.7-liter inline-six turbo diesel in your Ram work truck (or oil-burning 5.0-liter V8 in your Nissan Titan) won’t disappear overnight. The company claims it will continue to focus on diesel engines as a core component of its business model, while pouring more R&D dollars into green tech. Cummins first went down this road with its natural gas-powered engines.
If future truck owners want it, Cummins wants to supply it.
So great is the urge to be out in front, the company is considering teaming up with others. Cummins hopes to develop a range of products — electric energy storage systems, power electronics and traction motor systems — for commercial applications.
“Cummins will begin electrified powertrain delivery in 2019, including battery electric and plug-in hybrids,” the company said in a statement. Calling these “first steps” just the beginning, Cummins claims to be working on gasoline engines which feature diesel-like performance, as well as a number of “exploratory” fuel cell projects.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
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Let's fire up the ole Cummins and head to the truck meet! *click* *whirr* Wooohoooo!