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Cummins unveils electric Class 7 tractor; plans for “revolutionary” heavy-duty diesel in 2022

30 August 2017

During an event at the Cummins Technical Center, Cummins unveiled its latest power solutions and energy-diverse products, displaying its near-zero natural gas engine technology (earlier post); super-efficient diesel engines (the X12 and X15, earlier post); and shared plans to introduce a “revolutionary” new heavy-duty diesel engine in 2022 for Class 8 linehaul trucks. Cummins also revealed a fully electric class 7 demonstration Urban Hauler Tractor.

The electric Class 7 demonstrator is fitted with a 140 kWh battery pack; the weight of the electric powertrain is roughly equal to that of the removed engine, aftertreatment, transmission and fuel tank. The tractor day cab has a gross vehicle weight rating limit of 75,000 pounds. The concept truck has a range of about 100 miles (161 km) on a single charge for city driving. The range is extendable to 300 miles (483 km) with additional battery packs. Cummins said that the powertrain and truck will enable it to learn more about the potential electrification holds for larger vehicles.


The concept truck design includes an Engine-Generator option for extended range capabilities, allowing users to benefit from Cummins B4.5 or B6.7 engines, providing a major advantage over today’s hybrid systems. These engine options offer 50% fuel savings compared to today’s diesel hybrids, the company said.


A regenerative braking system and the potential for solar panels on the trailer roof can send additional 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.

In June, Cummins executives said that it will begin electrified powertrain delivery in 2019, including full battery-electric and plug-in hybrid systems. (Earlier post.) Cummins said those are just the first steps as it signals its intention to be the leading provider of electrified powertrains in its commercial and industrial markets.

Longer term, Cummins Research and Technology Department continues to investigate the viability of alternatives like bio-fuels, synthetic fuels and hydrogen. Cummins has also invested in exploratory projects focused on Proton Exchange Membrane and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technologies—both with increasing potential to offer superior power density over the traditional internal combustion engine.

August 30, 2017 in Diesel, Electric (Battery), Engines, Heavy-duty | Permalink | Comments (9)


I will have to ask some of the drivers that deliver to our company how many miles they drive in a shift but I would expect that it is less than 150 miles given that most of the speeds are under 30 miles an hour and the time it takes to unload freight. I would expect that the battery electric version of this vehicles would be able to most urban delivery requirements.

Line haul is a different story.

Given the time for loading and unloading, there is considerable potential for charging during the working day.  Perhaps there should be grants/incentives for customers to install charging connections to support this.

The more charging is available, the smaller and lighter the battery can be for the same daily range and the cheaper everything gets.

@Engineer-Poet While on paper it seems plausible for considerable charging but disregards real world challenges of how many dock access bays stores have, grid capabilities during peak hours, and unrealistic range.

I've lived the vendor life delivering to stores which is organized chaos to get dock access within a set small delivery window. In many cases access capped to 30 mins which even a 10% charge in that time frame would require a 480 volt 58.3 amp being 27.8 KW load.

That's not even accounting for efficiency losses / battery cooling while charging so I'd say 31 - 32 KW all in all. Making amp load 65.6 which isn't necessarily absurd alone. Yet, multiply this by 32 EV semi's then you have a 1 megawatt load.

Renewable energy wouldn't be sufficiently reliable to manage this peak extra multi terrawatt load nationally during peak hours. If we had a larger *thorium* nuclear baseline dependable energy source this would be a feasible concept.

As to range.. why not use a range extender hybrid generator engine just as Wrightspeed trucks does or full on hybrid design just as HINO (Toyota commercial vehicles) currently does. Granted the Hino 195H is geared towards medium duty the concept scaling up is relatively common sense

If your point is to get engine noise and emissions out of urban areas, the range extender isn't what you want.

Your power limitations are eyebrow-raising when Tesla's Supercharger peaks out at something around 140 kW.  You'd have to taper off the charge rate as the battery filled but a 20 minute window at the dock at an average of 105 kW would still net you 35 kWh, a 25% range boost even for the 140 kWh tractor.  If you could rely on doing this 3 times a day a 70 kWh tractor would be viable on a 150 mile route.

I consider "renewable energy" to be a cruel joke.

@Engineer-Poet I won't even deny if the entire purpose is engine noise and emissions out of urban areas but the first is a moot point. The second I'll concede it has some validity.

In regards to charging.. how fast it charges is sorta semantics where the real issue is can our grid as is handle the extra terawatts of electrical demand. We'll use Port of Los Angles as an example which according to article linked below has 14,000 short haul trucks. Let's assume 50% of them are electric meaning 7,000.

7,000 x 140KW = 980,000 KW which is almost a terawatt just for the Port of Los Angles!

Now I won't deny they won't be charging all at the same time but massive load demands unexpected will cause an electrical brownout from usage spikes. What we can expect is from 4AM - 9PM having heavy spikes as ports, store receiving, warehouses, and misc expect these trucks to arrive. Some of the single power plants in California don't even produce that much power. Having gas turbines idling just for these spikes simply isn't practical as they have a sweet spot for emissions, durability, and efficiency. Like I said earlier.. if we expanded **thorium** nuclear power this wouldn't be so much of an issue.

7,000 x 140KW = 980,000 KW which is almost a terawatt just for the Port of Los Angles!

Oh for pete's sake.  Despite your pessimistic assumptions that's still short of a gigawatt (innumerate much?), and per Wikipedia, Commiefornia already had almost 19 GW of PV capacity at the end of last year.  The state has so MUCH that the problem of the rampdown near sunset, the "duck belly curve", is a major and growing headache.

If you estimated 140,000 trucks over the state, 140 kWh/truck/day and averaged the load over 10 hours of daylight, the average load would be 1.96 GW.  This is quite manageable.  Charging at 105 kW average power transfers 140 kWh in 80 minutes of connect time.  This is quite reasonable.

Having a crapload of electric trucks sucking down electrons at their loading stops all day would be one of the best things the renewabalistas could ask for.  It deals with their solar production curve.  Of course, what they really need is a stone-ax-reliable supply of power for charging, but romantics are not deep thinkers.

What we can expect is from 4AM - 9PM having heavy spikes as ports, store receiving, warehouses, and misc expect these trucks to arrive.

Load switching on and off in 100 kW chunks isn't a "heavy spike".  It's barely noticeable.  You can manage this by throttling the charging of LDVs, which consume many times as much energy.

Having gas turbines idling just for these spikes simply isn't practical

So don't.  If you've got, say, 3 hours of plugged-in time per day but only need 80 minutes to maintain a full charge, you can run the chargers at an average of less than half power.  This lets you ration power when it's in short supply and direct it to the vehicles which have run down the most.

if we expanded **thorium** nuclear power this wouldn't be so much of an issue.

You'd replace the frequent daytime surplus with a dead-reliable night-time surplus.  I rather like that myself, but until the libtard voters of Commiefornia are put on the meds and cognitive/behavioral therapy required to treat their mental illnesses the state is going to be run on policies which attempt to override the laws of physics.

Per my Industrial Engineering past practice, I would think battery power and recharge for metro delivery trucks would be highly attractive. Also, automation of much smaller "vans" carrying cargo drop packages that minimize multiple delivery trucks. This would occur at late night and early AM to minimize traffic congestion and increase speed of delivery. Store personnel would be responsible for stocking once again. This would be akin to garbage dumpster logistics.

"..libtard voters of Commiefornia are put on the meds.."
NOT helpful.

Drayage operations in the ports of LA and Long Beach have been reduced to about 7000 trucks, according to recent conversations I had there. They did it with pooling.

Keep in mind that the ports already require many cargo ships to "cold iron" (turn off their onboard diesel generators) while docked and power the ships from shore power. So they do have huge amounts of power available already.

Tractors do not necessarily stay connected to their trailers during loading and unloading. It is more common to drop the trailer at a loading dock and move on to the next trailer that needs to be moved. So charging may well happen elsewhere.

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