Cummins celebrates diesel milestone, looks to fuel-cell future

Produces 3-millionth diesel for FCA, signs agreement for Hyundai fuel-cells

Published: September 29, 2019, 4:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:52 PM

2019 Ram HD

Cummins, the 100-year-old American Fortune 500 company that made its reputation on diesel engine development, is making a splash on two separate stages.

The first is in the past, with the announcement that it has produced its 3-millionth diesel engine for Dodge/Ram trucks, a partnership that has been productive for both parties over the past three decades. The milestone engine, a 6.7-liter high-output inline-6 (400 hp; 1,000 lb-ft), was fitted in a 2019 Ram 3500 Longhorn Crew Cab dually 4x4, which will be revealed once it has been delivered to its new owner.

“The relationship that Ram Truck has with Cummins is one of the industry’s most enduring, and continues to raise the bar for power and durability,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand. “Both companies have benefitted from this partnership, but Ram customers truly get to enjoy the toughness and best-in-class capability that a Cummins-powered Ram Heavy Duty truck delivers.”

“We are grateful to Ram Truck for choosing Cummins-powered engines for 30-plus years, and we look forward to a long partnership,” added Melina Kennedy, Executive Director of Cummins Pickup Business. “We are honoured that these employees have chosen to devote the 30-plus years to Cummins. They and the whole plant team are a big-hearted group committed to improving where they live.”

The second announcement affects the future, with Cummins signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hyundai to jointly evaluate opportunities to develop and commercialize electric and fuel-cell powertrains. The partners would work off their strengths — Hyundai fuel-cell systems and Cummins’ electric powertrain, battery and control technologies.

“This partnership is a terrific opportunity for both companies to leverage our respective strengths and create new opportunities to grow and broaden the product portfolio we bring to our customers,” said Thad Ewald, Cummins Vice President of Corporate Strategy. “We’ve made significant investments over the past year to accelerate our fuel cell capabilities including our acquisition of Hydrogenics and this partnership is another step forward.”

The initial focus of the partnership will be on developments for the North American commercial vehicle market, including working with OEMs on the integration of systems into their vehicles. The two are also putting together a team to explore development of the next generation of fuel-cell power generators.

“With Hyundai’s global leadership in fuel cell systems, coupled with Cummins’ unparalleled electrified powertrain technologies, we expect this partnership to leave a mark in the commercial vehicle market,” said Saehoon Kim, Vice President and Head of Fuel Cell Group at Hyundai Motor Group. “Collaborations such as this will enable us to further diversify our business, as well as reinforce our global hydrogen leadership through sales of new and existing Hyundai fuel cell systems.”