An engine manufacturer has unveiled an electric semi-truck before Tesla announces their version next month. Cummins presented a concept model of their new truck, the Aeos Electric Commercial Vehicle, this week in Columbus, Indiana. The new truck will continue a trend of large commercial EVs that are being released in the coming years. As much of the green community has been waited on new details related to Tesla's release, Cummins is generating a lot of buzzing with their surprise announcement.
Details given at the event include that the new Urban Hauler Tractor will have a range of 100 miles at full capacity, but there are additional batteries that can be added to jump the range all the way up to the competitive 300 miles. All things considered, that’s an amazing number, considering these trucks carry tens of thousands of weight. This range is supposed to rival the new Tesla trucks expected to make their debut in September.
Each battery pack features 140 kilowatt-hours and each of them can be charged in about an hour. Over time, the company hopes to bring this number down. According to CNET’s Autoblog, charging times could fall to 20 minutes. How can these batteries last so long? The answer is surprisingly simple: Regenerative braking, found on many EVs, helps along with the addition of integrated solar panels on the roof.
The new EV is a surprising addition for Cummins, who specialize in creating efficient, clean diesel and natural gas engines. The company received the aid of Roush Industries to help with development of the truck. As expected, the Indiana-based engine manufacturer will be a supplier as Roush builds the units.
“These new technological innovations build on our 100-year legacy of bringing the best solutions to our customers, driving their success and meeting the evolving demands of their industries and markets,” Jennifer Rumsey, Chief Technical Officer of Cummins, said in the press release. “We will harness our global technical footprint to continue to develop a wide variety of power technologies to bring our customers the choice and solutions that enable their success and contribute to a sustainable future.”
Cummins has been famous for their “Near-Zero” natural gas engines, and unveiled new editions of their series at the same event as the Aeos reveal. The company explains it’s an equivalent alternative to diesel engines that “have little to no emissions for customers looking to minimize [their] emissions footprint.”
Other commercial vehicles have been making headlines for electrifying. Chanje will quickly be coming out with an electric van that’s geared toward last-mile deliveries. Their batteries can also have a range up to 100 miles, which is perfect for their small distances. GreenPower is also bringing a fleet of 10 zero-emission buses to California.
Aeos takes the sails out of Tesla’s upcoming announcement on their own commercial freight vehicle. The semi is going to be a unique addition of their library of luxury projects like the electric cars and solar rooftops. Production for Cummins’ semi-trucks are expected to begin in early 2019.