Cummins and Tata Motors Ignite Change with H2 Internal Combustion Engines

Cummins and Tata Motors Ignite Change with H2 Internal Combustion Engines

May 16, 2024 2 By Julie Campbell

The manufacturing has started in Jamshedpur, India at a new state-of-the-art facility

Cummins Inc. recently announced that it has started producing hydrogen internal combustion engines (H2-ICE) in a new Jamshedpur, India manufacturing facility for Tata Motors.

The first B6.7H unit was completed in March 2024

The hydrogen internal combustion engines continuing to be produced at the facility are being integrated into Tata Motors trucks.  This technology is being viewed as a promising zero- or low-carbon alternative to diesel power because of its powerful performance and substantial operating range.

Cummins’ B6.7H engines have notable similarities to current natural gas and diesel engines, particularly in terms of the components they contain. Moreover, they can fit in standard engine vehicles and require similar refueling times.

By installing the Cummins B6.7H into its vehicles, it means that Tata Motors is taking on a viable, sustainable solution to support India’s decarbonization strategy for commercial vehicles.hydrogen internal combustion engines by Cummins

Producing hydrogen internal combustion engines in India

The step to produce the units at the new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Jamshedpur is only the latest in a broader partnership between Cummins and Tata Motors in India. The facility itself is a joint venture between the two companies, split 50/50. 

The goal is the production of the hydrogen internal combustion engines for use in both medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. That said, they will also be producing low-to-zero emissions tech such as H2 fuel cells and batteries. They view the move as an illustration of the commitment both companies have made for powering a more sustainable and cleaner transport market in India and its export markets.

Moving sustainable technology forward

“Cummins has always believed in bringing the right technology that powers the success of our customers at the right time,” said Cummins Group in India’s Managing Director Ashwath Ram when speaking at the Jamshedpur facility’s official opening. “We strive to bring advanced low to zero-emissions technology to the market in pursuit of decarbonising the on-highway industry. Alongside our global expertise and technological capabilities, working with similarly innovative companies like Tata Motors will ensure we realise this ambition.”

Hydrogen Internal Combustion - Leaders from Cummins Group in India and Tata Motors Limited at the TCPL GES inauguration ceremony - Image Source - Cummins

Leaders from Cummins Group in India and Tata Motors Limited at the TCPL GES inauguration ceremony – Image Source: Cummins

“Tata Motors’ established legacy of nation-building, innovations, and industry firsts gains further momentum with the opening of this new-age manufacturing facility,” added Tata Motors Executive Director Girish Wagh. “The hydrogen-based powertrain aggregates and systems produced here will shape the future of mobility in India, making it smarter and greener. We remain committed to partner our customers to build a better tomorrow by enabling them to progressively adopt emission free and commercially viable solutions for cargo and people mobility.”

Established relationship 

Cummins and Tata Motors have been collaborating on various projects and partnerships through their Tata Cummins Private Limited (TCPL) joint venture for three decades.  A subsidiary of TCPL, called TCPL GES was created last year in March in order to work on the design and development of low-and zero-emission propulsion technology solutions for India’s commercial vehicles.

How do hydrogen internal combustion engines work?

Though fuel cells powering electric motors have been making the most headlines until now, there is a way to use H2 to cleanly power vehicles far more similarly to technology already being used on the roads. 

In this sense, H2 is burned in the same way that gasoline is burned in a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE). That said, among the advantages of choosing H2 over gasoline or diesel fuel is that it does not result in soot or volatile organic compound emissions.

Are they zero-emission?

hydrogen news ebookMost experts wouldn’t call hydrogen internal combustion engines zero-carbon emission. That said, they are extremely close.  The design being used by Cummins and Tata Motors produces similar power and range to diesel but with a reduction in carbon emissions of about 99 percent.  For this reason, it is often referred to as zero-carbon technology, even if it technically does still produce a tiny amount of CO2.

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