With approximately 12,000 2010 diesels now in service, Cummins Inc. is “feeling really good” about driver satisfaction, initial reliability, SCR system performance and fuel economy, according to Jeff Jones, vp of sales & market communications.
“We’ve produced 26,000  engines at this point and almost one-half of them are in service giving us real-world data,” Jones told Fleet Owner. “The mix is about 60/40 between medium- and heavy-duty.”
While it’s still early in the introduction phase, “drivers’ first impressions have been very good,” he said. Only time will prove overall reliability, but initial warranty data for the first six months of service is showing the 2010 engines to be “significantly more reliable than the previous two launches in 2004 and 2007,” Jones said.
As for the new SCR aftertreatment system, “it’s been a non-event for customers,” Jones said. “Availability of diesel emissions fluid (DEF) is not an issue at all and bulk buyers appear to be purchasing it for prices below the cost of diesel.”
With medium- and heavy-duty diesels requiring a break-in of 30,000 to 50,000 mi. before achieving full fuel-economy performance, “it’s way too early to judge that, but we’re seeing enough data to confirm our confidence level” in early predictions of a 5 to 6% improvement over 2007-spec engines,” according to Jones.
Overall operating cost savings will be lower than that since the new engines consume DEF at an average rate of around 2.5%, but if DEF prices continue to decline as expected by Cummins, the margin of cost savings compared to pre-2010 engines will continue to grow, Jones added.
Looking forward to the likelihood of new truck fuel-economy standards from Federal regulators, Jones said the expected goal of a 50% improvement over current performance by 2014 “is very much within reason…without far-fetched technologies.”
The Dept. of Energy’s research funding with the Super Truck program “is giving a big boost to developing the next steps [in fuel economy improvement], which will most likely involve waste heat recovery systems,” Jones said. “Probably the major concern will be the cost of the required technology and return on investment for our customers.”