Cummins Beats Tesla With an All-Electric Semi-Truck

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【Summary】Cummins, an American company well known for making some of the best diesel engines on the planet, has beat Tesla to the punch with an all-electric semi-truck.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 08, 2017 10:30 AM PT
Cummins Beats Tesla With an All-Electric Semi-Truck

The automotive industry is moving towards all-electric vehicles with autonomous capabilities. While the majority of automakers are preparing for the future by introducing electric vehicles, hybrids, and new tech that takes the driver out of the equation, traditional manufacturers are facing an uphill battle, as they rapidly try to play catch up. 

Cummins Takes On Tesla

Cummins, an American manufacturer that's well regarded for its diesel engines, just beat Tesla at its own game by releasing an all-electric semi truck. Tesla, which unveiled its plans to introduce an electric semi-truck with a range of 200 to 300 miles earlier this year, won't release concrete features of its truck until later this month. And Cummins, a more traditional manufacturer, didn't have any plans of waiting or playing catch-up to the electric automaker. 

The semi-truck, called the AEOS, according to Cummins, previews "a series of next-generation, energy-diverse products." The massive concept is powered by a "state-of-the-art battery pack" that, as the manufacturer claims, features improvements in range, energy density, and charging rate over other EVs. The semi is powered by a 140 kWh battery pack that helps the semi-truck travel up to 100 miles on a single charge. However, the range can be extended to 300 miles with more battery packs. The AEOS has a one-hour quick-charging feature, and Cummins is even looking into attaching solar panels on the truck's trailer to help extend its range. 

Hybrid Capability For Even More Range

While the figures aren't on par with what Tesla has planned, Cummins is also looking into offering the AEOS with a range-extending engine generator, which would essentially make the semi-truck a hybrid, that the manufacturer claims would offer a fuel saving of over 50 percent over other diesel hybrid models on the road today. 

The concept that Cummins revealed was a Class 7 truck, putting it into a category of vehicles that weigh somewhere between 26,001 to 33,000 pounds, with a weight rating of up to 33,000 pounds. Cummins also has plans to introduce a Class 8 semi truck with a weight of 75,000 pounds that includes the tractor day cab. As far as its trucking duties go, the AEOS will be able to haul up to 44,000 pounds of cargo, making it just as powerful and heavy as a traditional semi with a 12-liter engine. 

The revolutionary semi-truck is set to go into production in 2019. But instead of putting the AEOS on the road, Cummins plans to supply the semi truck's battery pack and driveline to other manufacturers. 

While Cummins clearly beat Tesla when it comes to getting an all-electric semi-truck on the road, the two aren't the only companies looking into fuel-efficient semi trucks. Nikola Motor ditched its original plans of an electric semi-truck and is now working on a hydrogen-powered vehicle, Toyota is currently working on a semi-truck that utilizes the Mirai's fuel-cell system, and Daimler which is the largest truck manufacturer in the world by sales, has also thrown its hat into the ring with an electric delivery truck. 

While everyone thought that Tesla would be the leader in the electric-semi-truck segment, Cummins' concept proves that traditional manufacturers are worth watching. 

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