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Cummins unveils new fully-electric semi


The concept truck design includes an engine-generator option for extended range capabilities, allowing users to benefit from Cummins B4.5 or B6.7 engines.

The electric truck is equipped with a 140kW battery pack which delivers a driving range of around 161km. Electric cars and trucks produce zero emissions, which is important at a time when climate change is such a big concern.

Much like the rumored Tesla electric semi truck, the AEOS is not a full-on Class 8 hauler. It can carry some 44,000 pounds of payload, and its 140-kWh battery pack only takes an hour to charge at a 140-kWh charging station.

The AEOS semi will have a range of 100 miles per charge, according to Cummins, meaning it's designed for shorter runs in urban areas rather than long hauls on the highway. Cummins says that by 2020, improvements in battery tech are "expected to reduce" the charge time to 20 minutes. Thus far Cummins has not disclosed power ratings for the motor, but says it expects about 100 miles of range when hauling up to 22-tons behind the 18,000-pound cab.

Because Cummins makes powertrains and not whole vehicles, it's enlisted the help of Roush Industries to actually build and assemble the new lorries. Cummins does not plan to assemble the trucks, but instead views itself as a supplier of the battery and driveline system. Like most electric vehicles, the Cummins uses regenerative braking and rolling resistance - like the B-Mode in a Nissan Leaf or Volvo XC90 T8 - to eke out extra range.

Cummins also showcased its new "super-efficient" X12 and X15 heavy-duty diesel engines that feature Single Module Aftertreatment, which the company said offers longer maintenance intervals for the lowest cost of ownership. Mills adds Cummins has spent "decades" working on electrification and it spends more than $700 million annually on research and development.

That's one of the reasons why Tesla is already committed to entering the commercial vehicle space.

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