The first automated transmission paired with a natural gas engine in North America
Power management company Eaton and Cummins Westport, a joint-venture company of Cummins Inc. and Westport Innovations, today announced an integrated powertrain package for the Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine that will provide customers with the first automated transmission to be paired with a spark-ignited natural gas engine in the North American market. The powertrain will combine an Eaton UltraShift® PLUS automated transmission with the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine.
Speaking at a media event today at the American Trucking Associations’ annual Technology & Maintenance Council meeting, executives said this product announcement is a continuation of the long-standing collaboration between Eaton and Cummins, and builds upon the announcement one year ago of the SmartAdvantage™ Powertrain package for the Cummins ISX15 diesel engine. With the interest in alternative fuels driving more fleets to integrate natural gas engines into their portfolio, this product will meet a growing market need while providing best-in-class technology.
“Providing our customers with the product offerings that meet the needs of their operation is what this collaboration is about,” said Lori Thompson, Cummins Vice President – Truck and Bus OEM Business. “We are delighted to provide an integrated package to customers who desire natural gas power paired with an automated transmission in their fleets.”
“We are proud to be able to offer North American fleet customers the first automated transmission to be integrated with a spark-ignited natural gas engine, which shows the level of customer commitment our teams are focused on providing,” said John Beering, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Vehicle Transmission Business, Eaton. “We are confident that our customers will find this powertrain an excellent value compared with other automatic transmission alternatives.”
The UltraShift PLUS automated transmission paired with the ISX12 G will be available for limited application release for line-haul and regional haul in
The Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine is based on the Cummins ISX12 diesel engine, and operates on 100 percent natural gas, which can be carried on the vehicle in either compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) form. Ideally suited for regional haul applications, the ISX12 G has its power band at 1500-1800 rpm, with peak torque at 1200 rpm. This heavy-duty natural gas engine is available with horsepower of 320 hp to 400 hp (239-298 kW) with 1966 Nm peak torque.
The powertrain package benefits include:
- Intelligent shift selection software
- Improved launch and shift decisions through grade sensing, weight computation and driver throttle commands
- Hill Start Aid, which prevents rollbacks when engaged
- Tailored shift logic
The Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine can now be paired with either the UltraShift PLUS automated transmission or the Eaton Fuller Advantage Series manual transmission.
I really don’t know what are the performances and features of a natural gas engine compared to a diesel engine. I’m also wondering how is calibrated the Automated Manual Transmission to match to the optimum efficiency operating points of such an engine. Do you think that the R&D costs of such a specific development was low enough to ensure a quick return on investment for both companies? Do you think that the end-user will prefer the AMT to the Manual transmission?