Cummins Debuts Class 6 Heavy-Duty Hybrid Truck
Heavy-duty diesel trucks have long been thought of as the dirtiest vehicles on the road. Cummins hopes to change that image with its Hybrid PowerDrive suite, which debuted at the 2018 International Motor Show in Hannover, Germany.
To native Germans, the International Motor Show is known as the International Automobile Exhibition (IAA). This year was the 67th running of the event, and Cummins grabbed a lot of attention in the commercial sector.
The company debuted its PowerDrive Hybrid suite, which was paired with a Cummins B6.7 diesel engine and installed in a Kenworth T370 utility truck. The T370 is a heavy-duty class 6 commercial vehicle has a gross weight of 33,000 lbs.
Even though an oil-burner was shown at the event, the PowerDrive technology can be mated to either a diesel or gasoline engine. The system fits inside the transmission, making it extremely adaptable. It also offers both parallel and series drive configurations.
During low-speed operating conditions, such as urban environments, the series layout is preferred. In this mode, the electric motor powers the wheels on its own. Meanwhile, parallel is used for high-speed freeway driving. It's at this time that both the motor and engine work together to produce more power.
The Kenworth can seamlessly switch between pure electric and hybrid propulsion, depending on the driving conditions. Approximately 50 miles can be covered in pure electric mode. When operating in hybrid mode, the vehicle is good for 300 miles.
Also, the truck features exportable grid quality electric power to recharge PHEV and EV vehicles. Three charging stations are onboard: one 100 kW fast charger and two 6.6 kW standard chargers. Plus, there's a recovery crane on the truck that can operate on either electric or engine power take-off.
Although it made its worldwide debut at the IAA show, the PowerDrive system has already covered six million miles in a test fleet. Trucks equipped with the technology have traveled across the United States and China, and soon Cummins hopes to introduce them to the European market.
"With a 100-year-long track record of powering our customers' success, Cummins demonstrates once again that we are transforming the future of transportation by offering our customers the broadest and most cutting-edge power portfolio backed by our expansive service capabilities," said Julie Furber, Cummins Executive Director of Electrified Power.
"The Cummins PowerDrive is intelligent, versatile and compact, providing our on-highway customers the flexibility needed to meet the demands of their diverse jobs and markets. Cummins is ready to offer the new PowerDrive suite through our OEM partners. We look forward to discussing how the PowerDrive's compact packaging envelope and weight saving benefits will enable OEMs to produce PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) vehicles for diverse needs without compromising performance or range."
According to Cummins, a Class 6 truck powered by the PowerDrive system can reduce emissions by as much as 80 percent compared to a conventional commercial vehicle. As a result, fuel costs are cut by 40 to 80 percent as well, depending on operating conditions.
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