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.