As Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) fans await the company's semi-trailer truck announcement in September, Cummins (NYSE:CMI) has quietly unveiled an electric truck of its own. Nicknamed "Aeos", it represents the company's first zero-emissions truck and has been engineered to accommodate a large 140-kWh battery pack with enough juice for 100 miles between two charges, thus making it suitable mostly for city use. Rumours of a 300-mile range - on pure battery power - already give it the edge over the Cummins, and other rumours suggest Tesla will unveil its new project within the next few weeks. Electric cars and trucks produce zero emissions, which is important at a time when climate change is such a big concern.
With a claimed range of 100 miles, it certainly seems apt to handle short drives, and Cummins said it only takes an hour to charge. For example, the company predicts battery improvements could lead to a 20.0-minute charge time for its truck by 2020. The truck design will also include an Engine-Generator option for extended range.
Because Cummins makes powertrains and not whole vehicles, it's enlisted the help of Roush Industries to actually build and assemble the new lorries.
Cummins is to supply a fully integrated battery electronics system, buying the cells from an unnamed provider, with production to begin in 2019. Cummins, best known as a maker of diesel engines, is expanding its natural gas products and moving toward electric engines.
A secret to the capability of the AEOS comes in the form of aerodynamics, with Cummins resorting to cameras instead of conventional side mirrors. Thus, by adding a Cummins B4.5 or B6.7 engine to the vehicle, the truck gains more range yet also scan achieve up to 50% more fuel savings compared to current diesel-electric hybrid powertrain packages, the OEM noted.
Tesla may be the highest-profile company looking to break into EVs designed for commercial hauling, but it's far from the only one.