In recent meetings with EPA officials, Indiana-based Cummins Inc. said it reaffirmed its commitment to meet the 2002 deadline to produce lower emissions engines as outlined in a consent decree Cummins signed in 1998.

Based upon several breakthroughs in engine technology, Cummins said it is now poised to achieve an additional 38% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from current emissions standards for all on-highway products.

“The costs associated with developing and refining the technology required to meet the NOx emissions reductions have been significant enough to alter the competitive landscape if any compliance delays are granted,” said Tim Solso, Cummins chairman and CEO. “It is critical that the EPA enforce industry-wide compliance with the letter and the spirit of the consent decree to ensure that the full range of environmental and consumer benefits are achieved.”

Cummins said it believes its cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology is the only feasible technology for meeting the October 2002 emission requirements. Using the technology, Cummins said it achieved a 2% improvement in fuel economy in its midrange engines compared to its current product, reduced NOx emissions by 50%, and reduced the time of unaided cold starts by 80%.

"We are extremely confident in the technology," said John Wall, Cummins vp and CTO. "It is really just an extension of the development path we have been on for some years. All of Cummins automotive engine platforms have been developed to be EGR-capable."