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Cummins Beats Tesla To The First Electric Semi Truck

Reveal / 33 Comments

But it only has a paltry 100-mile range.

We've known for some time now that Tesla is planning to expand its EV line-up with the launch of an all-electric semi-trailer truck. Its reveal is said to be imminent, but Cummins, a company best known for producing diesel engines for trucks and pickups, has already beaten Tesla to it with the reveal of its own electric truck. Dubbed the AEOS, it's only a concept for now that was developed in collaboration with Roush Industries, but Cummins is confident that production will start in 2019.

Cummins will only be involved with the development of the battery and powertrain for the final production model, however. The AEOS concept is designed as a fully electric class 7 truck with a maximum payload of 44,000 pounds. Weighing in at 18,000 pounds in total, Cummins says the powertrain including the battery weighs around the same as a conventional 12.0-liter diesel engine. The concept also uses a regenerative braking system and low-rolling resistance tires, and reduces drag by removing the front grille and replacing the side mirrors with cameras to improve its efficiency. CNET reports that the concept is equipped with a 140 kWh battery that provides a range of 100 miles.

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That's rather paltry compared to Tesla's truck which is rumored have a range of 200 – 300 miles on a single charge, making the AEOS more suitable for short distance deliveries in urban cities. Having said that, the battery only takes an hour to recharge. By 2020, Cummins expects improvements in battery technology to reduce the charging time to 20 minutes. Cummins is also working on an extended range version that uses a diesel engine to recharge the battery. This should extend the range to 300 miles and cut emissions by half. Tesla is expected to unveil its own electric big rig in September, so Elon Musk probably isn't too pleased that Cummins has stolen its thunder so close to the reveal.