Cummins — you recognize, the corporate that makes the diesels that go in all of the actually critical huge boy pickup vans, amongst different no-nonsense tools — is seemingly looking forward to a non-oil-burning future. Or a minimum of a future the place huge rigs have a variety of powertrain choices, together with electrical: The corporate has simply unveiled its all-electric AEOS tractor-trailer prototype.
Aeos, named after one of many fiery immortal steeds of the solar god Helios (cool!) is a totally purposeful Class 7 truck — solely as a substitute of a 12.Zero-liter inside combustion engine, the prototype will get a 140 kWh battery pack. With trailer, it has a gross car weight score restrict of 75,000 kilos; vary, per Cummins, is 100 miles. Additional batteries might push that to 300 miles, nevertheless it’s clearly not prepared for transcontinental runs — stop-and-go metropolis hauling is what this factor is designed for.
Along with the EV powertrain, the Aeos will get a lot of efficiency-oriented options, like a drag-reducing streamlined physique and underbody, cameras as a substitute of rearview mirrors (an idea automotive favourite) and a rooftop photo voltaic panel, which is a pleasant contact however can’t presumably do a lot to enhance vary. Cummins’ specialty is powertrains, although, not truck design, so it’d presumably be on a devoted rig-builder to include them into their designs.
The Aeos is not simply electrified: It is streamlined.
Recall that Tesla can be on the verge of rolling out its personal electrical semi — within the wake of the Cummins’ unveil, there’s been a good quantity of buzz about how the Indiana-based powertrain firm was faster on the draw than the Silicon Valley outfit. We’ll be aware that the 2 firms’ goals are barely completely different, although: Tesla’s focus appears to be on vans which are autonomous, a minimum of for an excellent chunk of their drive route, which is an efficient match for long-haul trucking. The Aeos is aimed toward shorter, extra difficult city routes, which even essentially the most bullish of pro-autonomy advocates anticipate to stay the area of human drivers for the foreseeable future.
Cummins hasn’t introduced a manufacturing model of its Aeos prototype; it appears destined to be a check mattress/publicity-generator in the meanwhile. But when an organization that has constructed its popularity on turning hydrocarbons into torque is getting critical about EVs, that is actually saying one thing.