After decades of debate, last year’s COP26 Conference in Glasgow united the world in one truth: climate change is the existential crisis of our time. And we are at a critical moment in this fight; with data clearly illustrating a ceiling of 900 giga tons of CO2 to keep global warming below 2o Celsius1. Meanwhile, the transportation sector continues to be at center stage, becoming the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States, surpassing even electricity generation. But just as history has always been punctuated by innovation, we have the necessary solutions to reverse our path if we are brave enough to face the problem head on and act with decisive purpose.  

Carbon is one of the most abundant elements in the universe and the epicenter of the climate crisis, constituting three quarters of GHGs. There is no doubt in the scientific community that man-made carbon emissions are pushing humanity towards a point of no return, but the sources of these emissions are still the subject of considerable finger pointing. When we pull back and try to see our changing world through a clear lens, a fundamental paradigm emerges that cannot be ignored if we are to combat climate change at the source: Growing economic prosperity is an impactful driver of rising carbon emissions.

Three components of the technology roadmap to destination zero

As the global economy grew, we pulled more than a billion people out of extreme poverty and expanded the middle class. The Brookings Institute, for example, marked 2018 as the first year where over half of the world’s population lived in the middle class and rich households. This growing economic prosperity stimulated trade, infrastructure development, and industrial activity – and unfortunately, drove the growth in carbon emissions. This intrinsic link between prosperity and carbon emissions begs the question: can healthy economic growth and a healthy planet co-exist? Yes, investing in decarbonization is one of the most promising growth opportunities for our generation; and progress in it can make our society more prosperous and our planet healthier at the same time. 

This journey to Destination Zero, which highlights Cummins’ journey towards eliminating carbon emissions, is rooted in a comprehensive technology roadmap for transportation and mobility with three primary components: Zero emissions technologies such as battery electric and fuel cell electric, low to zero carbon fuels, and fuel agnostic powertrain platforms as transition technologies.  

No.1: Zero emission technologies such as battery electric and fuel cell electric 

Today, battery electric and fuel cell electric solutions are economically and operationally viable for select commercial transportation use cases. These zero-carbon technologies are already helping with local emissions and air quality issues as they emit no carbon from a tank to wheel perspective. Moreover, when their energy source is green, for example renewable electricity used for battery electric buses, these technologies can offer zero carbon emissions from a well-to-wheel perspective. We already partner with school and transit bus manufacturers for all-electric applications, and there is even a passenger train in commercial operation that is powered by fuel-cell electric technology.  

Transportation sector became the sector with the highest GHG emissions in the U.S.

We have impressive technologies at our disposal, yet there are still many commercial transportation applications that face major roadblocks to electrification. Economic viability, mission accomplishment, and infrastructure support are the key factors behind these hard to electrify applications. One school of thought is to wait for battery-electric or fuel cell electric technologies to catch up to these applications, but we simply cannot afford to release more carbon emissions every day that we cannot take back. Every gram of carbon emitted will contribute to climate change. In the U.S. alone, medium and heavy-duty trucks emit over one million metric tons of CO2 every single day2. For these hard to electrify commercial transportation applications, there are options available today to significantly reduce or fully eliminate carbon emissions: low to zero carbon fuels. 

No.2: Low to zero carbon fuels lower and eliminate carbon emissions on a well-to-wheel basis 

Low to zero carbon fuels emit less carbon, on a well-to-wheel basis, than diesel fuel when used to produce power. I categorize these low to zero carbon fuels into four groups. 

First is low-carbon fuels. These fuels still emit carbon when burned but emit less carbon than diesel fuel. Second is carbon neutral fuels. These fuels also emit carbon when burned, but the carbon emissions are fully offset by another activity. Third is zero carbon fuels. These fuels do not emit carbon at all when burned. For example, green hydrogen is a zero-carbon fuel. Fourth is carbon negative fuels. These are the fuels where the impact of the fuel generation and consumption results in a net reduction in GHG emissions.  

From this crowded field of low to zero carbon fuels, few will be the most impactful: hydrogen, natural gas, and biodiesel. Beyond these three, synthetic fuels – also known as e-fuels, are an exciting additional technology that may emerge as a dominant factor in the future. 

Hydrogen is an increasingly popular energy carrier. This is primarily because it is a zero-carbon fuel when produced using renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydropower to electrolyze water. Hydrogen can fuel vehicles through an internal combustion engine or hydrogen fuel cell and deliver impressive reductions in carbon emissions. A model year 2027 Class 8 sleeper cab semi, powered by a hydrogen engine and fueled by green hydrogen, would save 1,437 metric tons of CO2 over its life versus its diesel-powered counterpart3. These are impressive environmental gains, but hydrogen faces two primary roadblocks today: infrastructure readiness and the abundant availability of green hydrogen – a zero carbon fuel well to wheel.  

As opposed to hydrogen, natural gas is a fossil fuel, but it produces less carbon that other fossil fuels such as diesel. Natural gas also offers important emission reductions now as the infrastructure for zero carbon technologies continues to develop. In certain use cases, renewable natural gas (RNG) can be carbon negative, as well. For example, RNG produced from degradation of organic matter, that would otherwise be left to emit methane emissions, has negative carbon intensity. Meanwhile, there are two on-going debates around natural gas’ role in reducing carbon emissions. First, it is widely accepted that a portion of natural gas’ tail-pipe emissions gains is offset by methane leakages through pipelines. Second, the math behind RNG’s negative carbon intensity. It is important to recognize not all RNG has negative carbon intensity, and we should evaluate how the methane captured was originated and the efficiency of RNG transportation to determine whether the subsequent RNG usage results in a net reduction in GHG emissions.   

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel produced primarily from fats and vegetable oils. The plants used as feedstock to produce biodiesel withdraw carbon from the atmosphere, and when biodiesel is burned, it returns the same carbon atoms back to the atmosphere; theoretically, this makes biodiesel carbon neutral4. Practically, the emissions generated while growing these crops and producing biodiesel also need to be considered. B20 is already in our lives today with many engines capable of running on it; the next step towards lowering emissions will be to have engines that can run on B40 and then on B100, pure biodiesel.  

Synthetic fuels, or e-fuels, come in various forms; e-diesel and e-gasoline are the two that are more relevant for commercial transportation applications. These fuels can be produced using CO2 and green hydrogen; therefore, they are carbon-neutral, since they release the carbon that was originally used to create them back to the atmosphere. Moreover, they can also leverage our existing fueling infrastructure. Currently, there are two obstacles around these fuels: their high cost and limited availability.  

Infrastructure readiness is a common obstacle for increased adoption of some low to zero carbon fuels. Meanwhile, there are commercial transportation applications that do not require an extensive network of fueling stations and other infrastructure. For example, fleets operating medium and heavy-duty trucks can create itineraries using a small number of fueling stations placed along fixed routes. This can then drive the needed infrastructure buildup. 

Today, these low to zero carbon fuels are available for those looking to advance their decarbonization efforts. And their usage can be expanded with the help of a familiar technology: internal combustion engines – but with an innovative twist: fuel agnostic engine platforms. These platforms are the means to help us realize the benefits of low to zero carbon fuels. 

click to view infographic
Click to view infographic

No.3: Fuel-agnostic engine and powertrain platforms can expand the use of low to zero carbon fuels 

Fuel agnostic engine platforms feature a series of engine versions that are derived from a common base engine. The bottom end of the engine looks the same, and unique cylinder heads are designed to accommodate a different low or zero carbon fuel. Each engine version operates using a specific type of  fuel, including diesel, propane, natural gas, or hydrogen. These engines take advantage of existing technology and can reduce GHG emissions using low and zero carbon fuels. They have familiar operating practices, vehicle installation, and performance characteristics with today’s diesel engines. These fuel-agnostic platforms are ideal for use cases where battery-electric and fuel cell electric solutions are not yet financially or operationally feasible. This is an industry first of developing fuel agnostic internal combustion engines from the ground up. This is our effort to mix and match the right engines for the right applications as we move towards a zero emissions future.  

It is also important to remember that these three components within the technology roadmap are not binary choices. You can combine battery electric solutions with fuel agnostic powertrain platforms to create hybrid solutions for the right use cases.

Climate change is the existential crisis of our time, and an increasing number of governments and companies around the world have already pledged to be carbon zero or negative. These solutions offer a viable path in this journey over the next couple of decades. But end users should not wait to take tangible steps in their journeys. Now is the time to decarbonize. Our planet cannot wait. And now, end users have the tools and innovations needed to charter their own unique paths to Destination Zero.



1Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (August 2021). Climate Change 2021, The Physical Science Basis [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.ipcc.ch   

2United States Environmental Protection Agency. (December 2021). U.S. Transportation Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions.[PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/ 

3Analysis conducted using U.S. EPA's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Model (GEM) for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Compliance. Assumed 19 tons payload, 120,000 thousand miles per year use. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/  

4United States Energy Information Administration. (n.d.). Biofuels explained, Biomass-based diesel and the environment. [Web page]. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov/ 

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Srikanth Padmanabhan

Srikanth Padmanabhan

Srikanth Padmanabhan is Vice President and President of the Engine Business, the largest of Cummins’ four business segments. In this role, he pushes the boundaries of customer-focused innovation to position Cummins as the leading powertrain supplier of choice, with its portfolio ranging from diesel and natural gas to hybrid and electric powertrains. Read more about Srikanth's more than 30 years at Cummins.

bus in movement

Natural gas engines from Cummins can offer considerable longevity and reliability when properly maintained – so much so they are lasting decades and counting. 

Between 2008 and 2009, more than 3,730 Cummins B Gas Plus natural gas engines were procured through OEM partners Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland and delivered to the National Capital Region of India. Deployed into the Delhi transport Corporation’s (DTC) transit bus fleet, nearly 15 years later, the engines remain in service. To date, the buses have travelled approximately 5.4 billion kilometers – yes, billion – over the last 15 years.


These engines prove what Maged Tadros, General Manager of Cummins Global Bus Business likes to tell his customers: “Adopting Cummins natural gas engines into your fleets can help achieve several operational and economic benefits.”

As the lowest total emissions engine on the market for trucks and buses, Cummins natural gas engines run on an abundant, low-cost fuel, with a maintenance free three-way catalyst exhaust treatment system. 

The need for reliable transportation is essential. Over the past 15 years, the Cummins B Gas Plus natural gas engines have helped more than 150 million Indian residents get to where they need to be and will continue to do so for the years to come.

click to view infographic
Click to view infographic

“Cummins engines are sought after globally for their world-class reliability and durability,” explained Puneet Jhawar, General Manager – Natural Gas. “We have learned a lot from our experience in India, among other countries adopting natural gas engines, learnings that have influenced our next generation of engines.”

Last year, Cummins announced the B6.7 natural gas engine will be available in India. Built for school buses, shuttles, and medium-duty trucks, the B6.7N boasts up to 240 hp/560 lbs-ft torque.

As the most mature, proven, and least disruptive alternative power technology available today, natural gas engines offer range flexibility and deliver a similar power, performance, and driving experience as diesel engines. Cummins natural gas engines help fleets reduced their overall environmental impact without significantly increasing the cost of operation or sacrificing performance or uptime.

The power of Cummins’ natural gas engines was on display at the India Auto Expo in Greater Noida Uttar Pradesh, India this month.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.


As we near the end of 2022, we are celebrating some of the accomplishments that made this an exciting and innovative year for New Power. In the last 12 months, we expanded our technologies, grew as a business and continued to blaze the trail toward a zero-emissions future. Join us as we reflect on five wins from our New Power business unit that helped make this year truly spectacular.

snow scene
Click to view infographic

Welcome to our battery family, LFP

The newest member of our battery family is the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery, which expands our support of electrified commercial vehicle applications. LFPs are faster charging and longer-life batteries, and are used in the medium duty truck and school bus markets. LFPs don’t require nickel or cobalt, making them more affordable and sustainable. With faster charging, higher power and a 10% longer life expectancy, Cummins LFP batteries are designed to meet the demands of continuous operation and have a lower total cost of ownership.

Green travel is on track: Our fuel cell systems are powering the world’s first 100%-hydrogen passenger train fleet

Holiday vacation plans? Visit us in Europe where we’re powering the world’s first fleet of hydrogen trains. The Alstom Coradia iLint trains are outfitted with Cummins fuel cell systems and run on the world’s first 100%-hydrogen-powered passenger train route. The trains convert hydrogen fuel into energy and turn existing, non-electrified infrastructure into zero-emission rail lines. These trains emit only steam and condensed water while in service and operate with low noise levels that improve both operator and passenger comfort.

The hydrogen fuel cell systems used in the trains are assembled at Cummins’ Hydrogen Fuel Cell Systems Production Center in Herten, Germany. The facility was fully operational in 2022, enabling accelerated adoption of hydrogen technologies across Europe and the globe.

North America? Check. Europe? Check. We’ve expanded our New Power footprint across the globe

This year, we drove the green hydrogen economy forward across the globe by supporting new infrastructure projects and advancing government decarbonization goals.

We have broken ground on our new gigawatt PEM electrolyzer manufacturing plant in Guadalajara, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. Construction is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2023. The 200,000 sq. ft. facility will have the capacity to produce 500MW per year, scalable to more than 1GW per year.

Our Oevel, Belgium electrolyzer manufacturing facility expanded its capacity to 1GW thanks to the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) Hy2Tech program. IPCEI will help Cummins develop a new generation of PEM electrolyzer cell stacks to power large-scale hydrogen production systems. Operation began at our new Hydrogen Fuel Cell Systems Production Center in Herten, Germany this year, which further enables the adoption of hydrogen technologies across Europe. 

We expanded our Mississauga, Ontario, Canada campus by adding a third facility dedicated to hydrogen technology. The new facility accommodates the company’s growing staff, hydrogen production capacity and new product development, putting Cummins in a better position to support the developing hydrogen market in North America.

The wait is over - our electrified powertrains made their official debut

We unveiled the Meritor 17Xe ePowertrain integrated with a Cummins battery system. The 17Xe is designed for heavy-duty trucks with the capacity to support 44 tons of gross combined weight. The assembly also features Cummins’ new lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack. 

Our clean drivetrain options offer performance and packaging advantages for diverse applications across the globe.

Electrolyzers are stateside: We’re starting production in the U.S.

We announced that we'll begin producing electrolyzers in the U.S. for the first time at our Fridley, Minnesota facility. To drive the domestic green hydrogen economy forward, we'll start at 500 megawatts (MW) of manufacturing capacity annually, scalable to 1 gigawatt (GW) in the future. 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.

recipients holding trophies

Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) announced the 2022 recipients of the company’s most prestigious technical award, the Julius Perr Innovation award. Now in its 23rd year, the award recognizes employees who demonstrated excellence in innovation and technology by developing significant intellectual property for our products.

This year’s recipients are Cummins employees Richard Ancimer, Krishna Kamasamudram, Ashok Kumar, Guoqiang Li, Tim Proctor, Michael Wilson, and Aleksey Yezerets. Acknowledgement also goes to Neal Currier, Ed Hodzen, and Vivek Sujan.


The first winning patents relate to the mitigation of sulfur accumulation on a selective reduction catalyst (SCR).

Ancimer, Currier, Kamasamudram, Kumar, and Yezerets developed methodologies to not only monitor this accumulation of sulfur but regenerate the catalysts faster, and at lower temperatures, through the synchronization of engine operating conditions during regeneration. Their work is employed on Cummins products, such as Euro IV/V/VI, EPA 2010, Tier IV, and in regions high sulfur fuel, and will likely continue playing a role in meeting future emission regulations.

Wilson developed a different approach targeted for the service channel in areas with high sulfur fuel, particularly the Euro V products in South America.  A key feature of his invention involves the deactivation of cylinders, and his work has been cited numerous times by non-Cummins patents.

For second winning technology, Hodzen, Li, Proctor, and Sujan invented the SmartTorque2 (ST2) feature, which is part of the award-winning Eaton Cummins SmartAdvantageTM  Powertrain. This feature automatically senses a variety of factors, such as grade and weight, and selects the optimum torque for performance and fuel economy. The invention was first in production in 2013 and has been a standard offering of the X15 product since 2017.


This award was created to honor Dr. Julius Perr, who retired from Cummins in 1997 as Vice President - Fuel Systems.  Dr. Perr, who passed away in 2005, joined Cummins in 1958 after fleeing Communist Hungary.  He made Columbus, Indiana (USA) home and began a 41-year career as a Cummins engineer and leader.  In his lifetime, he was named the inventor or co-inventor of 186 granted patents and remains an inspiration to many in our industry.


The Julius Perr Innovation Awards Ceremony was held in-person with senior Technical Leaders, members of the Perr family, the 2022 Perr Award winners and their guests on October 18, 2022. Four winners, Krishna Kamasamudram, Ashok Kumar, Guoqiang Li and Michael Wilson, were able to attend in person to receive their awards. The other three winners were unable to attend, but their award and special recognition have been provided to them separately.


Members of a selection committee, made up of leaders from across all business units, meet yearly to evaluate patents that have created significant value for our products. In 2022, over 1,100 patents were reviewed for consideration before selecting the final patent award recipients. Since 2000, only 84 patents have been selected for this prestigious award with each invention adding value to our brand promise of innovation and dependability.

Congratulations again to the 2022 recipients on the honor of winning the 2022 Julius Perr Innovation Award.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.

illustration of home with generator

This article was authored by Chuck McClaugherty, Bear Electric, a Cummins Authorized Dealer.

Smart phones, smart TVs, virtual assistants, smart thermostats, smart locks and doorbells. Our homes are now filled with smart devices. Unfortunately, most of them become useless without power to run or recharge. This is why homeowners should consider installing one smart device above all other: a home standby generator. 

As a Cummins Authorized Dealer, I install a lot of Cummins QuietConnect™ home standby generators throughout Oregon. With increasingly severe weather, rolling blackouts, and aging power grids, I can tell you without a doubt a backup generator is a worthwhile investment. 

The best part of owning one of these smart devices? You don’t have to tell it when to turn on and off. It does it automatically. 

In a nutshell, here’s the process:

When we install a Cummins home standby generator, we also install a Cummins automatic transfer switch. This transfer switch constantly monitors the electric utility power coming into the home. If it detects a break in service, it will automatically disconnect the home from the electric utility line in a split second and turn on the Cummins generator to power the home instead. The generator is fed either by a natural gas line or by a propane tank.

While the Cummins generator is powering the home, the transfer switch will continue to monitor the electric utility line. Once it detects that power has been restored, it’ll automatically disconnect the generator from the home’s electrical system and reconnect the electric utility.

You don’t have to do anything. Nada. Zilch. The generator and the transfer switch do all the work. In some cases, you may not even realize there’s a power outage until you look out the window and see all your neighbor’s houses are dark.

Just as critical as having a Cummins Authorized Dealer professionally install your backup generator and transfer switch is making sure you choose the right size generator for your home. If it’s too small, the load won’t be able to power everything in the house. If it’s too big, you’ll consume extra natural gas or propane when you use it.

The easiest way to make sure you select the right size generator is to have your dealer do it for you. But if you want to get a feel for how much generator you’re going to need, Cummins has an excellent blog post on calculating the generator wattage you need or you can use the generator size calculator at Cummins.com.

We live in a world full of smart devices. Make sure you can keep yours up and running during power outages with a Cummins QuietConnect home standby generator. To find a dealer near you, use the Cummins dealer locator. Or, if you live in Oregon, just contact me at (503) 678-3417 or [email protected] 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.

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