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PERC seeks comments on Cummins propane engine project

November 16, 2020 By     0 Comments

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is seeking industry and public comments until Dec. 14 on a $12 million funding request that aims to commercialize a Cummins medium-duty propane engine in 2024.

By rule, PERC must solicit comments before approving any proposed project costing $1.5 million or more.

Titled “Commercialization of a High-Efficiency, High-Performance, Low NOx Emissions, Medium-Duty Propane Engine,” the project has been hailed by PERC President and CEO Tucker Perkins as next-level engine technology that will create opportunities in the autogas market, as well as for off-road engine applications.

The project, set to begin in January 2021, would initially target various medium-duty vehicle platforms. The medium-duty, Class 4-7 vehicle segment represents about 200,000 vehicle sales annually, and current penetration of propane in these classes represents about 15,000 units, according to the PERC docket.

“Everything about the engine – the technology, the commercialization path inside Cummins – is quite enlightening and uplifting,” Perkins said during the council’s November meeting.

The commercialization efforts follow a 2016 PERC project, funded at $6 million, in which Cummins developed an engine optimized for high efficiency and near-zero emissions operating on propane.

AmeriGas has been running a demonstration engine in a 2018 Peterbilt 337 geared for propane delivery. Cummins would continue the development and commercialization path of that engine under this funding request, PERC says.

According to PERC, the new propane engine will meet or beat the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) low-NOx requirements in 2024 and, outside CARB-regulated states, produce NOx emissions at a lower level than required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

PERC plans to convene in December to discuss its continued investment in the engine, Perkins says.

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About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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