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Cummins Taking on Tesla with Electric Semi Truck

Cummins unveiled a revolutionary new all-electric powertrain in a demonstrator truck to the media yesterday, a few weeks ahead of Tesla's planned revealing of its own electric "semi" truck. By 24/7 Staff

Cummins Inc. has unveiled plans for an electric truck, beating Tesla to the punch.

Cummins late yesterday showed off its designs revealed a fully electric class 7 demonstration Urban Hauler Tractor, adding to its portfolio of environmentally friendly engines.

The lighter, denser battery design allows it to hold a longer charge for improved range and faster charging, reducing down time.

It is expected to enter production around the end of the decade, Motor Authority reported.

Cummins has brought on engineering firm Rousch to help design and build the engine.

These products and technologies add to Cummins’ unmatched portfolio of solutions and offer customers the latest in environmentally-friendly, cost-effective and powerful products to help them succeed in every market and every application.

With these new innovations, Cummins will continue to provide connected customer support, including cloud-based solutions and big data analysis, in order to maximize uptime, safety, and business optimization, increasing customers’ bottom line.

“These new technological innovations build on our 100-year legacy of bringing the best solutions to our customers, driving their success and meeting the evolving demands of their industries and markets,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Chief Technical Officer, Cummins Inc.

“We will harness our global technical footprint to continue to develop a wide variety of power technologies to bring our customers the choice and solutions that enable their success and contribute to a sustainable future.”

During the event, which included tours of the Cummins technical center, Cummins leaders and scientists showcased the company’s continued innovation and work in analysis-led design capability, virtual reality, alternative fuels and digital capabilities, all of which are positioning the company to win in current and future technologies and in new markets.

The truck is expected to have a maximum payload of 44,000 pounds, with a battery's capacity is 140 kilowatt-hours, which is enough for about 100 miles of range, making it more suitable for local deliveries.

An extended-range version is also being developed with a 300-mile range thanks to a diesel engine serving as the range extender.

Cummins predicted that battery improvement could lead to a 20-minute charge time for trucks by 2020, compared to the one hour it takes now.

Tesla is expected to unveil its plans for an electric semi in September with a range of somewhere between 200 and 300 miles.

5 Cool Things about Cummins Electric Powertrain Concept Truck

It’s All Electric!
The demonstrator truck uses a 140 KWh battery pack instead of a 12-liter engine. The weight of the electric powertrain is roughly equal to that of the removed engine, after treatment, transmission and fuel tank. The tractor day cab, when paired with a trailer, has a gross vehicle weight rating limit of 75,000 pounds. The concept truck has a range of about 100 miles on a single charge for city driving that’s extendable to 300 miles with additional battery packs. The powertrain and truck will enable Cummins to learn more about the potential electrification holds for larger vehicles.

It Has Plenty of Other Energy-Saving Features
A regenerative braking system and the potential for solar panels on the trailer roof can send energy to the battery pack. Air drag is reduced by replacing side mirrors with an in-dash camera system. The truck achieves a significant air drag reduction via its highly streamlined design as well as a better-sealed truck body and underbody – with no front radiator intrusion.

Its Environmental Impact
Like Cummins’ diesel, natural gas and alternative fuel products, the concept powertrain and truck are designed to limit the vehicle’s impact on the environment. Electric cars and trucks produce zero emissions, which is important at a time when climate change is such a big concern. If the charging power is generated from 100 percent renewable sources, then the truck can be described as fully carbon neutral.

It’s All About Options
Cummins wants to be the global leader in powertrains, offering customers a variety of power solutions to meet their particular needs. Diesel engines aren’t going away. The company expects diesel to be a popular option with customers for years to come. Cummins has and will continue to produce the cleanest diesel engines in the world, reaching near zero emissions levels.

It Has Cummins’ Size and Experience Behind It
Cummins has been meeting the power needs of its customers for nearly 100 years, whether by diesel, natural gas, electrification or something else. The company’s technical staff of 10,000 people around the world has the high tech tools to study everything from a variety of bio fuels to waste heat recovery and even solid oxide fuel cell technology to power the next generation of Cummins’ engines and related products.


Related SC24/7 Article: Tesla’s Electric Semi-Truck Will Be Able To Drive Itself and Travel in Platoons

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