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. On Tuesday, the Columbus, Indiana-based company revealed an Urban Hauler Tractor concept that's pure electric.
The Class 7 semi has the capability to carry up to maximum of 44,000 pounds of payload, and its 140-kWh battery pack only takes an hour to charge at a 140-kWh charging station. In this configuration, the Class 7 heavy-duty truck is good for just around 300 miles (483 kilometers) between fill-ups. Cummins is also developing a long-range version with a range of 480km by installing a diesel engine.
With the stricter emission norms set to be implemented in the coming years, the electric trucks will be a ideal solution to prevent the pollution from big diesel engines.
The key to this new commercial truck concept is its lighter, denser battery design allows it to hold a longer charge for improved range and faster charging, Cummins said, reducing down time. Word is that the electric big rig can go up to 300 miles per charge making it appropriate for regional deliveries.
Cummins continues to be the leader in clean-diesel technology and understands that for many markets diesel engines will be best solution for decades to come. However, it's important to mention Cummins will not actually build the trucks as instead it will supply the entire battery electronics system and is going to purchase the battery cells from a yet unknown provider.
Aerodynamics are also playing an important rule to further boost the truck's efficiency, which is why the conventional side mirrors have been replaced by cameras to reduce air drag. "This truck enables us to demonstrate that electrified powertrains will be viable". 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.
That's one of the reasons why Tesla is already committed to entering the commercial vehicle space.