Revolutionary Engine Will Change Heavy Duty Trucks For Ever – by William F and Shaan S

23 May 2024

The X15N is a 15l CNG engine designed and developed by Cummins. The engine will be releasing in the third quarter of this year. It was produced to decrease running costs of heavy-duty lorries and open up the market for CNG truck in America. 

The engine produces 400-500 horsepower and 1966-2508 Newton meters of peak torque. It is an inline six engine with a capacity of fifteen litres. It has a system weight of 1.259 tons.

Kenworth Truck Company, one of the top three truck original equipment manufacturers in North America stated in a news release that it will begin production of Kenworth T680 and T880 models specified with the new Cummins X15N natural gas engine in the third quarter of 2024. Customers can select a factory customized truck frame for easy installation of Hexagon Agility CNG/RNG fuel systems that can deliver up to a 265-diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). 

“We are pleased to partner with Hexagon Agility to provide Kenworth customers with a natural-gas engine solution that will reduce emissions in a variety of on-highway and vocational applications,” said Kyle Kimball, Kenworth Director of Marketing. Kenworth and Cummins have stated that the serial production of these engines will begin in the middle of 2024 with initial deliveries aimed for the third quarter of the year. The engine has begun its field testing with two companies, Chevron and Walmart. The first truck with the X15N engine has been seen testing on the road in America.

Why is the engine so revolutionary?

A heavy-duty truck needs a fifteen litre engine because it has a wider torque range and higher operational efficiency. It also makes these trucks more powerful and durable, even at higher altitudes where the air is thinner than at sea level. It also has increased overtaking ability and because of the wider torque range the incline that these trucks can climb is steeper than the regular truck. 

Image above is from the Hexagon Group.  

The launch of the Cummins X15N will triple the market for heavy duty gas trucks over the next few years. Approximately 300,000 trucks are sold every year in North America; 100,000 of these are RNG trucks. Also the X15N will add 230,000 heavy duty trucks to the addressable RNG/ CNG market annually.  

Its first uses 

Kenworth delivered the first T680 day cab equipped with a 15-litre natural gas engine. It is the first of many trucks using the new powerplant that Kenworth is delivering to UPS. “We were participating in half the market [with] a 12-liter product that couldn’t do the job of a 15-liter,” Jose Samperio, executive director and general manager, North America On-Highway, said: “Now we have a 15-liter that can do the job of a 15-liter and do the job of a 12-liter. Do some simple math. You are doubling your market presence.