Back to Homepage


Natural Gas Engines Paving the Way for Decarbonization in the Transportation Industry

December 19, 2022    3 min.

The transportation industry is leading the charge to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and spearheading efforts make heavy trucks greener. One of its strategies revolves around new natural gas engines that provide an efficient alternative to conventional diesel units, including the Cummins X15N, which will hit the market in 2023–2024. Read on to learn more about this new technology and its potential for decarbonizing trucking.

On the right track

Road transportation is responsible for nearly 35% of Québec’s GHG emissions*, and diesel engines are one of the main culprits. That’s why alternative fuel engines are emerging as a viable option for decarbonizing the trucking industry. In recent years, manufacturers have developed increasingly powerful natural gas engines that are helping companies get on the path to sustainability.

New horizons

PACCAR, one of the world’s largest truck manufacturers, has officially announced that it will offer the Cummins X15N 15 L natural gas engine in Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks. The trucks are expected to start rolling off the assembly line in 2024 and will allow trucking companies to reap the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas for an even wider range of heavy-duty transport applications.

The best of both worlds

While the Cummins 12 L natural gas engine—the most powerful of its kind to date—maxed out at 400 HP, the new 15 L engine will deliver up to 500 HP and 1,850 lb-ft. of torque, enough for a gross vehicle weight of 52 tons or 115,000 lb. (see detailed specs opposite). Transporters in Québec will have access to trucks that can haul the heaviest trailers while reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency without compromising on profitability.


New high-power natural gas engine in development

Motor 15 L 100% NG (X15N)
  • Start of production 2023
  • Weight reduced by 300 lb compared to the 15 L diesel
  • Compatible with multiple transmissions: Endurant HD (Eaton Cummins) and those from other manufacturers
  • 500 Max HP
  • 10% efficiency improvement compared to ISX12N
  • 10% GHG reduction compared to ISX12N
  • Will meet 2024 and 2027 EPA and CARB emission standards and regulations
  • No particulate filter (DPF)
Moteur 15L 100% GN (X15N)

Driving change together

Better still, an entire ecosystem is emerging to support carriers that migrate to natural gas. For example, the province is getting six new public refuelling stations for compressed natural gas (CNG) by 2024, in Drummondville, Abitibi, Tremblant, Saint-Félicien, Lévis, and Québec City. Those stations will tie into the existing network of nine stations already in service and open up a new corridor all the way to Abitibi.

New regulations have recently been adopted to promote the use of natural gas trucks and should facilitate the transition to this energy source. And the new CSA B401 Code for maintenance facilities for alternative fuel vehicles clarifies and improves repair and maintenance standards for natural gas vehicles, among other things.

Shifting into high gear

Transporters can now take their emissions reduction efforts even further with to renewable compressed natural gas (RNG-C), a renewable version of CNG. Renewable natural gas (RNG) is a 100% renewable source of energy produced from organic waste. Not only is RNG perfectly interchangeable with conventional natural gas with the same equipment, it also creates considerably fewer GHG emissions—an undeniable plus for companies looking to decarbonize.

Network of public natural gas stations

RNG is making headway

In Québec, four natural gas production sites are already up and running, and the sector is booming here and across North America. Just look at the recent partnership between Énergir and Nature Energy to produce up to 200 million m3 of RNG per year. The provincial government has also committed to supporting RNG uptake and has already set minimum injection targets for Énergir that are expected to increase over time. As companies start setting carbon neutrality targets, they will increasingly require carriers to pitch in by opting for RNG. Demand is expected to continue to rise and Énergir is ready to meet these growing needs.


For more information on CNG and RNG-C for the transportation industry, contact us at
Contact your DATECH Advisor : Sebastien Lajoie, expertise leader Natural Gas Vehicles CNG, LNG.


Philippe Caissy
Regional Sales Development Director Québec City/Mauricie/Saguenay,
Fuel market development


* Source: MELCC, 2021. Québec’s 2019 inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and their progression since 1990 (in French only).

Did you like the article ? Share it!

Continue reading