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PERC signs contract with Cummins to advance engine project

June 3, 2021 By     0 Comments

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) entered into a contract with Cummins Inc. on the development and commercialization of a 6.7-liter propane-fueled engine.

“The contract has been signed and the work is starting for production planning,” confirmed Tucker Perkins, president and CEO of PERC, via email about a project designed to produce an engine by 2024.

PERC has referenced the Cummins engine project often – before and after it approved a $12 million funding request late last year to keep the partnership on track toward commercialization. Much of the attention around the engine has centered on giving the industry another propane-fueled bobtail option for product delivery.

“I expect it to be positive for the industry, to take bobtails off of diesel and move them to propane,” says Daniel Dixon of AmeriGas, the outgoing chairman of PERC.

Currently, 12 percent of the industry’s bobtails and cylinder delivery vehicles are running on propane, says Cinch Munson, senior vice president of business development at PERC.

“The goal is to grow those numbers,” says Munson, relaying part of the council’s strategic plan to grow the autogas market through propane industry vehicle adoption.

Prior to the December 2020 funding request approval, the engine had been given a successful test run in a 2018 Peterbilt 337 operated by AmeriGas and geared for propane delivery.

PERC leaders tout the versatile engine for its high-efficiency, low-emissions profile, and for its ability to provide additional opportunities for the industry in both on- and off-road applications. It’s targeted for use in various medium-duty vehicle platforms, as well as off-road segments like agriculture, material handling and power generation.

PERC says the medium-duty segment, composed of Class 4-7 vehicles, represents about 200,000 vehicle sales annually, and the penetration of propane in these classes represents about 15,000 units. Cummins, based in Columbus, Indiana, is positioned well to penetrate the market with current customers throughout the medium-duty space, the council adds.

PERC says it’s talked to various OEMs about implementing the engine and creating a joint effort with other partners to make the project a success.

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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