Cummins' AEOS

World’s first electric semi truck revealed by Cummins

Image credit: Cummins

Diesel and petrol engine manufacturer Cummins has unveiled its concept for an electric semi truck with a range of 100 miles, ahead of Tesla’s highly anticipated electric truck, which is due to be revealed later this year.

Cummins revealed a Class 7 (heavy-duty) truck with a medium range of 100 miles on a single charge. It is named Aeos, after a winged horse which helped to pull the chariot of Helios, the Greek sun god.

The company hopes that the truck will enter production in 2019, targeting bus and commercial truck operators.

The truck is capable of pulling a trailer weighing up to approximately 20 tonnes. Cummins is expected to target urban delivery services, such as for food or drinks, and short-haul deliveries around ports and other terminals.

Thomas Linebarger, Cummins’ CEO, describes the electric truck as the “stretch application” for a heavy-duty electric truck, due to the current limits of battery technology. Anything heavier – such as long-haul, 18-wheeler tractors-trailers – could not realistically be powered with a battery, he said.

The 8,200kg truck is powered with an advanced 140kWh battery pack which can be recharged in an hour. Cummins is hoping to reduce its charging time to 20 minutes by 2020, providing a more efficient service to its commercial customers.

An alternative “extended range” version of the truck uses an on-board diesel engine as a generator and offers a range of up to 300 miles between charges, with 50 per cent fuel savings and zero emissions compared to a typical diesel hybrid today. This version of the truck could be available in 2020.

Cummins is reportedly investigating the possibility of adding solar panels to the trailer to extend the range of the vehicle.

Recently, it was reported that Tesla’s much-hyped electric truck would have a range of 200-300 miles on a single charge, placing the product in a different market to Aeos. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has said that the Tesla electric truck, the “Tesla Semi”, could be revealed in September and enter mass production within two years.

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