Cummins Engine Co. is betting big that its cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology will make it a leading provider of 2002-compliant diesel engines — and it plans to fight hard to keep those 2002 emission mandates in place.
At a meeting with the trucking press last month, Cummins said that cooled EGR is the key to enabling heavy-duty diesel engines to meet the more stringent (NOx) and non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) levels stipulated by EPA for 2002.
“Cooled EGR breaks us away from the traditional trade-off between lower emission levels and high fuel consumption,” said John Wall, vp and CTO of Cummins.
“NOx control is pretty straightforward; it's all about temperature control,” Wall explained. “Control peak combustion temperature and you control the level of NOx emissions: the lower the temperature, the lower the NOx emissions.”
Wall pointed out, however, that the technology needed to do that gets pretty complicated, which means the engines will be more expensive.
For Class 8 trucks, engines equipped with cooled EGR may cost between $1,800 and $3,000 more than current models, said Thomas Kieffer, executive director of marketing. For medium-duties, an additional $1,500 is expected. Engine weight will also increase, with heavy-duty engines packing on an extra 100-120 lb. and medium-duties an extra 80 lb.
Cummins says it should be ready to build these cooled EGR engines on the production line in the next three months, making them available in substantial numbers by March 2002.
The real issue for Cummins, however, is making sure the industry sticks to the 2002 emission-level mandates.
“The costs associated with developing and refining the technology required to meet these ambitious NOx emissions reductions have been significant enough to alter the competitive landscape if any compliance delays are granted,” said Tim Solso, Cummins chairman and CEO.
“Cummins has worked hard to meet the requirements of the consent decree,” he added.