Cummins Unveils Electric Truck with 100 Mile Range
Cummins has diverted some of its efforts and expertise to focus on the electrification of its vehicles. The company has unveiled a heavy duty electric semi truck capable of running 100 miles on a single charge. This reveal even comes before Tesla's promised unveil of its own Semi which is supposed to occur in September of this year.
Cummins excels in the diesel and natural gas segment of the engine market but thanks to the hype around Tesla, competitors have rushed to put forth their own electric models in order to maintain relevance in this quickly changing environment. The Cummins heavy duty truck, called AEOS, claims to have the improved range and faster charging. Cummins also believes that its 100 mile range will be enough for commercial use. That said the truck is still in the concept phase and could take a few more years before it hits the market.
Similarly, Tesla's electric semi is expected to be in production by 2019 which is still 2 years down the road. However, Elon Musk believes that the Tesla Semi will be able to win in a "tug 'o war" match against a diesel truck and not only that, but in an uphill battle. The purpose of course, is to prove to the skeptics and potential customers that the electric truck has significant advantages over diesel including environmental and cost saving benefits.
Cummins is taking the same road as the Chevy Volt by offering an optional gas tank upgrade to its AEOS vehicle which will allow for an additional 200 miles of range. The US Energy Information Administration estimates that in 2016, 21% of US transportation was fueled by diesel, of which trucks is a primary component 1. The electrification of trucks has the potential to not only disrupt the truck engine manufacturers, but also the diesel fuel industry as a whole. Diesel is made from crude oil and since trucks use such a vast amount of fuel, switching to electric in a meaningful way could drastically reduce oil imports. Cummins and Tesla are now head-to-head in a race to disrupt this market.