According to Cummins, it takes roughly one hour to recharge the battery, with the company planning on cutting that time to 20 minutes in 2020. It showed the new "Near-Zero" natural gas engines for Class 8 trucks that are equivalent to diesel in performance while also outputting little to no emissions.
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. Cummins also plans to use the Class 7 truck as a test vehicle for the electrification of components.
The demonstrator truck is a tractor day cab configuration and has a gross vehicle weight of 75,000 pounds.
In May this year, Cummins formed a new internal organization led by Sherry Aaholm, its chief information officer, called the "Digital Accelerator".
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The truck, intended as a "technical demonstrator" for vocational applications like urban delivery, port drayage and terminal handling, has a Cummins integrated electric powertrain and was built by Roush with the design inspired by Cummins. 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.
Cummins aims to use the electric truck concept to learn about the potential of the electric powertrains in the commercial vehicle segment.
Furber says she expects electric regional haul trucks will be viable soon, but line haul - specifically hindered by payload sapping battery weight that will require a lengthy charge - are "a number of years away". "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". Driverless lorries could reduce accidents over long journeys, and electric lorries will also be far better for the environment than their diesel counterparts. It is also equipped with a lane keeping feature and its shorter front end and steep sloping hood significantly increases front visibility.