Cummins All Electric Class 7 Truck Revealed


With Tesla ready to roll out its Tesla Semi in September, Cummins stole a bit of the Silcon Valley company’s thunder by unveiling its own all electric Class 7 electric truck on August 29. Cummins does not make trucks, it makes the power trains that make them go.

Cummins electric truck

The trucking industry needs a large variety of trucks. Some are used in stop and go situations such as making deliveries or picking up trash. Some haul cargo trailers and containers over short distances, often from a port to a nearby distribution center. Some haul freight across the continent. Trucking companies are tightly focused on efficiency. Whichever truck can get the job done at the lowest cost is the one they buy.

The Cummins Class 7 electric truck prototype is dubbed AEOS — one of the horses that pulled the golden chariot of Helios across the heavens every day in Greek mythology. It has a 145 kWh battery and can haul a 22 ton trailer for up to 100 miles. Thanks to its advanced technology, recharging takes only an hour using a 140 kW charger. The Cummins power train won’t go into production until 2019 and the company expects charging times will have dropped to around 20 minutes by then.

The company is targeting truck and bus manufacturers that cater to customers who need short range capability. Approximately one year after the all electric power train enters production, the company will also offer a version with an on-board diesel range extender engine. Working together, both components will have a range of up to 300 miles and slash fuel consumption by 50% compared to trucks with conventional diesel hybrid power.

Cummins CEO¬†Thomas Linebarger says the technology isn’t there yet for a Class 8 electric truck with long range capability. But he feels his nearly 100 year old company is intimately familiar with the needs of its customers and will always offer class leading options to its customers.

“There are more technologies coming into economic relevance than we’ve seen in my career, ever,” Linebarger tells Forbes. “This is what we do. We feel we do better when technologies are shifting.” He is well aware of the competition from companies like Tesla, Proterra, Nikola, and WrightSpeed.¬†“All those competitors we take very seriously. They’re innovative, well-funded and have a technology mindset, much like Cummins.”

“We know that we cannot have one solution for everybody,” he says. That’s why Cummins will continue to develop more efficient diesel engines while exploring fuel cell technology and alternative fuels line LNG and LPG. “We need to make sure we have the right technology for the right application. Even if the electrified power train replaces the internal combustion engine completely, that’s still a 20 to 25 year transition period customers have to manage through. If we have good technology, they’ll want to buy it from us.”

Source: Forbes

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I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I’m interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • roseland67

    145 kw charge in 1 hour?
    Pretty big wire even at 480 volts Steve

    • bioburner

      About the same as a Tesla super charger. I missed the part in the article that says “480 volt battery”

      • Burnerjack

        Power (watts) = Voltage (E) x Current (I). The higher the voltage, the lower the current, for the same amount of power. The amount of current required defines the size of the conductor required. TFIFY.

  • Joe Viocoe

    Class 8 trucks (semis) are pretty much the end of the line for road transportation. This is what Battery EVs will have to achieve to pretty much be done with it. We have watched EVs go from golf cart sized econoboxes to sports cars and small SUVs. They are rapidly accelerating and it won’t be long before Class 7 and Class 8 BEV trucks are on the market.

    Hydrogen proponents have long since argued that this market segment was spoken for. It ain’t.
    And although intuition says that Fuel Cell Class 8 trucks should be easy… it wasn’t.
    Hydrogen fans thought they could take their time developing fuel cell technology… because there was no way batteries could compete in the heavy duty arena… but they are running out of time to capture market share.
    Once Batteries are good enough for this segment… there won’t be any room to introduce a new alternative fuel that costs more than diesel.

  • Chris Overholt

    20 to 25 year transition period for electric to fully replace ICE??

    I think he is going to be in for a shock when the transition isn’t a transition, but a technology disruption that happens in the next 8 or less years. The companies that move fast will thrive. The others companies…

    Other than that they are headed in the right direction on the electric front, so good to see it.

  • RickSanchez1

    Curious how a Tesla is already at100kw, for a sedan, and now this truck “only” has 145kw? Did they create the concept 3 years ago and forget to update the capacity? Seems like 200kw would be minimum given all the room.

  • Burnerjack

    Would be great if Cummins or other would offer a E-conversion package for pickup trucks and vans, at a reasonable price.