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Cummins Inc. announced its 2021 heavy-duty X12 and X15 series engines that are Environmental Protection Agency emissions-compliant are in limited production with full production scheduled for Jan. 1.
At the same time, Cummins launched its free online powertrain spec’ing tool, PowerSpec Web.
Cummins is the leading independent engine maker.
Cummins X15 (Cummins Inc.)
The Columbus, Ind.-based company noted the new engine platforms are built on its 2017 engine platforms in use in the on-highway market. Cummins called those earlier engines its best product launch ever, measured, for instance, by reliability in terms of the zero touch ratio during the warranty period.
“This is a show-me market. People want to see, touch, feel and operate. We are excited the early  products will be getting out very soon,” said Brett Merritt, Cummins’ vice president of on-highway engine business.
“We have really designed them around absolutely delivering uptime, total cost of ownership and ease of operation,” he added.
Merritt said relatively minor price increases in its agreements with OEMs will accompany the engines. “But it is not going to be a step change like [new engines that emerged to meet federal mandates] in 2007 or 2010.”
Cummins noted what it called its “industry-leading” oil drain interval — currently 75,000 miles for operators achieving 7 mpg or more with the current X12 and X15 Efficiency engines — is set to increase with the 2021 versions.
In 2021, customers averaging between 5 mpg and 7 mpg will see their ODI with the EPA 2021 X15 Performance series engine extended by 10,000 miles. To boost uptime for customers, Cummins matched the service schedule for the fuel filter and oil changes on the X12 and X15 series products, so customers won’t have to plan maintenance separately.
To improve the total cost of ownership, Cummins boosted the engines’ fuel efficiency.
In 2020, Cummins launched an EPA 2021-compliant product with the X15 Efficiency Series, which demonstrated up to 3.5% better fuel economy compared with the 2019 product. In 2021, X15 Efficiency Series customers with EX ratings — the Endurant HD transmission and GPS look-ahead data — stand to gain an additional 1.5% in fuel economy.
Those who require more than 500 horsepower and go with an X15 Performance Series can get up to 2% improved fuel economy compared with the EPA 2017 version.
The 2021 X15 Performance Series also will offer select powertrain features that previously were unavailable above 500 horsepower — including new SmartCoast, Predictive Cruise Control and Predictive Road Speed Governor — will be available for customers with automated manual powertrains in 2021.
Customers of the X12 also will see fuel-efficiency improvements, with up to a 2.5% potential gain in the base engine and a possible 1.5% further improvement with EX ratings, which will be newly available to the X12 in 2021, according to Cummins.
As for the latest aftertreatment systems, Cummins reported they are expected to be a “transparent change.”
Meanwhile, its PowerSpec Web is mobile-friendly, making it accessible to users virtually anywhere and on multiple devices. Plus, it noted moving to a web-based spec’ing tool and feature description library allows users to view the latest information without having to make manual updates.
“Cummins has really focused on making the spec’ing process easy to use, with built-in filters to help select the appropriate transmissions and axles based on the equipment customers are considering,” said RaNae Isaak, powertrain and TCO consultancy leader at Cummins.
In related news, 73,386 Class 8 engines were produced in the 10-liter-and-over category through June 2020, WardsAuto.com reported in August. Cummins had a 27.8% share, or 20,431 engines — its largest customers were Paccar Inc.’s Kenworth Truck Co. and Peterbilt Motors brands. Detroit Diesel, a brand of Daimler Trucks North America, was the leader with 26,002, or a 35.4% share.
Wards found the total number of Class 8 diesel engines — including Class 8 engines under 10 liters — in the first half of 2020 reached 82,972, plunging from 171,292 a year earlier. All truck makers this year curtailed production at times amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In the meantime, U.S. retail Class 8 sales in September reached the highest point this year as freight demand, rates and expectations for bullish third-quarter earnings at the publicly traded carriers were at high levels — trends that could add momentum to Class 8 sales well into next year, experts said.
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