Cummins beats Tesla to self driving semis

Cummins Shows Off Future Tech

As we are patiently waiting for Tesla to unveil its electric semi, Cummins has made this week a surprising reveal at its technical center in Columbus, Indiana.

Popular for its diesel engines, Cummins unveiled its next generation of energy-diverse products and technology solutions, headlined by the AEOS semi-truck. Nicknamed "Aeos", it represents the company's first zero-emissions truck and has been engineered to accommodate a large 140-kWh battery pack with enough juice for 100 miles between two charges, thus making it suitable mostly for city use.

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The urban hauler tractor concept, dubbed AEOS, is created to carry 44,000 pounds (22 tons) of payload for 100 miles before needing to be recharged. An extended-range version is also being developed with a 300-mile range thanks to a diesel engine serving as the range extender.

Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) says it continues to stake a claim as the global engine manufacturer best-positioned to "win" in the future. "End-users will find the Cummins Near-Zero natural gas engine is an equivalent performance option to diesel and like the latest clean-diesel have little to no emissions for customers looking to minimise emissions footprint", it says. Air drag is reduced by replacing side mirrors with an in-dash camera system. The designers have also attempted to make the truck as streamlined as possible. The underbody is also completely sealed. According to Cummins, it takes roughly one hour to recharge the battery, with the company planning on cutting that time to 20 minutes in 2020.

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The company displayed its reportedly "super-efficient" diesel engines - the X12 and X15 - and also shared plans to introduce a revolutionary heavy-duty diesel engine in 2022.

Given stricter emission regulations coming into force in coming years, plus some cities possibly banning the use of vehicles powered exclusively by internal combustion engines, we should see more and more players in the electrified commercial vehicles segment.

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