Tesla just lost the race to unveil a fully electric semi truck

Phillip Butler
August 31, 2017

As Tesla fans and the industry at large await the reveal of the electric auto brand's promised semi-trailer truck in September, Cummins, most widely known for its diesel engines, has quietly unveiled an electric truck of its own. Rumours of a 300-mile range - on pure battery power - already give it the edge over the Cummins, and other rumours suggest Tesla will unveil its new project within the next few weeks. The lighter, denser battery design allows it to hold a longer charge for improved range and faster charging, reducing down time. Tesla isn't the only big name in the big rig industry looking at a cleaner future and electric semi trucks.

With a claimed range of 100 miles, it certainly seems apt to handle short drives, and Cummins said it only takes an hour to charge. "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. (The latter still isn't legal under USA law for passenger cars or trucks). The company announced it would manufacture and begin selling the 140 kilowatt hour battery packs to bus operators and commercial fleets in 2019.

Experts point out that the AEOS ekes out as much range as it can thanks to low-rolling resistance tires and regenerative braking. The company also notes that roof-mounted solar panels could cut consumption even further, and the concept features cameras instead of side mirrors to help reduce aerodynamic drag.

Cummins Shows Off Future Tech

With the unveiling of the Concept Class 7 Urban Hauler EV, Cummins introduced a state-of-the art battery pack offering, redefining energy-efficiency and density capabilities for the EV market. Cummins, best known as a maker of diesel engines, is expanding its natural gas products and moving toward electric engines.

That's one of the reasons why Tesla is already committed to entering the commercial vehicle space.

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