COLUMBUS, Ind - Indiana engine maker Cummins says they are now the leader in the race to develop a fleet of electric trucks.
Cummins officials unveiled the company’s newest creation on Tuesday. The Aeos is an 18,000-pound semi truck that runs entirely on a rechargeable electric battery.
“This truck is designed to demonstrate the Cummins is very serious about being the leader in electrified power,” said Julie Furber, Cummins Executive Director of Electrification. “We are going to take electrification to all our markets and all the applications we serve when the time is right.”
Cummins officials say the Aeos has the same hauling capacity as a diesel engine truck, 44,000 pounds. it is a zero-emission vehicle with a range of 100-miles on a single battery charge. That range can be extended to 300-miles with a spare battery pack.
“So we’re optimizing this for an urban type of application where you’re moving within a city, delivering goods and that 100 mile range makes sense,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins Vice President and Chief Technical Officer.
“This truck represents a game changer,” said State Senator, Eric Koch (R, Bedford.) “Not just for Indiana, but for the nation.”
“I think this announcement will help shape the next 100 years of the area economy,” Koch said. “Cummins has been around for 100 years. This represents what Cummins will be in the next 100 years. I see the entire region as benefiting from this. From jobs, certainly here at Cummins, but also the many spinoffs that are yet to come.”
The announcement comes just a couple weeks before Tesla is expected to announce their own version of the all-electric heavy-duty truck. Tesla’s electric truck will reportedly be larger than the Cummins version, with a single charge range up to 300 miles.
Cummins executives say the Aeos represents the companies intention to further diversify the powertrains they produce. As the company continues to develop diesel engines, it will also produce more electric and natural gas vehicles.
While the Aeos is a concept vehicle not yet in production, Cummins intended to roll out smaller model electric vehicles like box trucks and buses in 2019 and 2020. The Aeos is expected to go into production at some point after that time frame. Announcing the Aeos publicly allows Cummins officials to gauge interest and demand from potential customers such as Walmart, Fed-Ex, or other companies that may want to add electric trucks to their fleets.