How are natural gas truck engines different this time?

How are natural gas truck engines different this time?

Cummins talks us through launch of the X15N engine and what fleets are saying about natural gas powertrains.

It’s time to shed the preconceived notions. The conversation about sustainability in trucking is turning to solutions that fleets of all sizes can spec right now–and that includes internal combustion engines (ICEs). There’s decarbonization value in adding new, more efficient diesel engines to your fleet line up right now, and with Cummins launching the X15N natural gas engine, there’s even more reason to ask the question: What role do internal combustion engines play in a decarbonization equipment strategy?

“Climate change is real and there are more and more fleets that are concerned about it and want to see a path toward how they’re going to decarbonize their fleets,” said Puneet Jhawar, general manager of global spark ignited and fuel delivery systems, Cummins. “We believe natural gas can fit into that strategy. The carbon emissions are less natural gas versus diesel or gasoline–there is a 15% to 17% impact on reduction of the carbon.”

The Cummins X15N engine, now available in Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks, has already garnered positive feedback from fleets testing the new natural gas platform. According to Jhawar, the engine not only performs like its diesel counterparts, particularly noted for its ability to tackle challenging gradients such as the Donner Pass, but also offers a quieter, smoother driving experience.

But he knows that fleet manager memories are long, and that we’ve been down the natural gas road before. This time, however, is different.

From the L9N to the ISX 12N, we’ve learned so much and we’ve put all of that into the new X15N,” Jhawar said. “That means it is a completely new engine from the ground up. The block is completely new–it’s a sculpted block, which helps compact the design to let us say that the footprint is similar to the ISX 12N. It’s helped reduce the weight of the engine as well.

Then there are the pistons, the spark plugs, the cooling package–the list goes on, and if you click the video above you can hear Jhawar talk about all of the engine differences that add up to natural gas deserving a fresh look in a world that is focused on decarbonization and real-world solutions that can also drive fleet productivity.


No script? No plan? No problem. Welcome to Fleet Equipment Unscripted—the video interview series that connects you with the greatest minds in the heavy-duty trucking world. Fleet Equipment Unscripted is sponsored by Hendrickson.

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