When you hear the terms “green,” “eco,” or “low-carbon,” high performance is not the first term that usually comes to mind. But in the case of Cummins’ new Ethos 2.8L E85-powered I-4, this green concept engine also produces a healthy amount of power for its modest displacement. The engine was developed partially with funding from the California Energy Commission with the goal of developing a low-carbon medium-duty commercial engine.
The turbocharged, direct-injected, spark-ignition engine is designed to run exclusively on E85, and with specific tuning to take advantage of the fuel’s unique properties, the prototype develops a healthy 250 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, output figures comparable to commercial gas and diesel engines of nearly twice the displacement. The engine is projected to cut CO2 emissions by as much as 50 to 58 percent on corn-based ethanol and as much as 75 to 80 percent on cellulosic-based ethanol. For evaluation purposes, the engine was mated to an Allison 2000-series transmission and is equipped with auto stop-start to further enhance fuel economy. The evaluation vehicle used for testing the engine has been a Freightliner Custom chassis with an MT45 step-van body.
No official production availability or timeline were announced for the engine, which is still in the testing phase.