At a press event at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, the California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership (CNGVP) partnered with Cummins Inc. to showcase its near-zero-emissions 15-liter X15N natural gas engine for the North American freight transportation market. Along with the announcement, CNGVP announced that in 2021, the energy-weighted carbon intensity value of all natural gas used as a transportation fuel in California was below zero at 33.36 gCO2e/MJ, according to data recently released by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program.
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Pairing this engine and fuel combination will enable shippers and carriers to immediately and cost-effectively achieve not just net zero carbon operations, but negative carbon emissions, allowing them to make unparalleled progress towards sustainability of their business and their ESG objectives while maintaining operational profitability. . Trucks powered by Cummins’ X15N engine will have no operational restrictions and will have a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than their diesel counterparts.
Designed as a solution for Class 8 freight trucks, the Cummins X15N will offer power ratings up to 500 hp and 1,850 lb-ft. of torque, allowing fleets to achieve powerful performance even in mountainous terrain when hauling loads of 80,000 pounds or more. The range of a truck equipped with a 15-litre Cummins X15N natural gas engine will only be limited by driver hours of service restrictions, as typical tank assemblies on natural gas trucks allow at least 750 miles of driving between pit stops, which can be accomplished in about 15 minutes.
The 15-liter Cummins X15N natural gas engine will reduce emissions throughout California, where heavy-duty diesel trucks are the largest combined source of smog-forming NOx and diesel particulates in the state, and the source of gas fastest-growing climate-altering (GHG) greenhouse gases, the company said.
The 15-liter Cummins X15N natural gas engine will have a similar physical footprint to its existing 12-liter natural gas engine, and Cummins is actively working with major OEMs to integrate the engine. As an added benefit, the more powerful 15-liter Cummins X15N natural gas engine weighs less than the existing 12-liter natural gas engine and approximately 500 pounds less than a comparable diesel engine. These weight savings translate into significant payload capacity gains for fleet operators, further improving the total cost of ownership of heavy-duty natural gas trucks.
In 2021, approximately 98% of the natural gas used for transportation in California came from methane emitted from renewable sources, including landfill waste, livestock manure, sewage treatment plants, food and green waste, dead trees and agricultural waste. Capturing and harnessing methane emissions from these sources as a renewable fuel is the most immediate and effective action that can be taken to reduce GHG emissions, as the world’s leading climate scientists reported at the summit. COP26 in Scotland in November 2021.
Growth in reported hog and dairy gas volume in California’s LCFS program is the primary driver that continues to drive down the carbon intensity value of natural gas as a transportation fuel. With new production facilities continuing to come online, RNG produced in California is expected to have an energy-weighted average carbon intensity of 101.74 gCO2e/MJ by January 2024.