Cummins Beats Tesla To The Punch And Introduces An All-Electric Heavy-Duty Truck

Janie Parker
August 31, 2017

Rumors of a Tesla semi truck have swirled for a while with CEO Elon Musk even going so far as to announce a September unveiling date.

The truck also offers hybrid technology via the Cummins B4.5 or B6.7 diesel engines, which Cummins said offer 50-percent fuel savings compared to diesel hybrids now on the market.

Dubbed the Urban Hauler Tractor, the concept is a fully electric class 7 truck with a maximum payload of 44,000 pounds, which will enter production around the end of the decade.

The urban hauler tractor concept, dubbed AEOS, is created to carry 44,000 pounds (22 tons) of payload for 100 miles before needing to be recharged. Some relevant examples would have to be the regenerative braking system and solar panels mounted on the roof to grab energy and send it to the battery pack as a way to extend the range.

Cummins
Enlarge ImageCummins AEOS is designed for all-electric short-haul trucking. Cummins

Meanwhile, Cummins demonstration featured a new approach for alternative fuels. A hybrid, with a diesel engine used on-board as a generator, is planned later and will offer 300 miles in range.

A secret to the capability of the AEOS comes in the form of aerodynamics, with Cummins resorting to cameras instead of conventional side mirrors. The designers have also attempted to make the truck as streamlined as possible.

With the stricter emission norms set to be implemented in the coming years, the electric trucks will be a flawless solution to prevent the pollution from big diesel engines. Supposedly, Tesla's electric semi is meant to work as part of an autonomous fleet of electric trucks trailing one lead vehicle. The lighter, denser battery holds a longer charge for improved range and faster charging.

The OEM showed of its latest in near-zero natural gas engine technology, it's new line of "super-efficient" diesel engines - the heavy-duty 2017 model X15 family and soon-to-be-built 2018 model medium-duty X12 line - and shared plans to introduce what it calls a "revolutionary" heavy-duty diesel engine in 2022.

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