Monday, 18 April 2016
Cummins dips toe in plug-in hybrids
Cummins Inc. has won a $4.5 million grant from the US Department of Energy (DofE) to develop a Class 6 commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that “can reduce fuel consumption by at least 50 per cent over conventional Class 6 vehicles”.
Cummins researchers say they will “optimize the powertrain by selecting the engine with the best architecture to use as an electric commercial vehicle range extender, using the engine to manage the charge level of the all-electric drive battery pack”.
The range extender will be integrated, using advanced vehicle controls, with the electrified powertrain and other applicable technologies.
Researchers aim to demonstrate improved fuel consumption and state-of-the-art drivability and performance regardless of environmental conditions.
Cummins is partnered with truck-maker Paccar on the project, and the full team includes representatives from Ohio State University, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory. Cummins’ link on this project with Paccar Inc. is more than interesting.
“The close integration and control of the electrified powertrain with an appropriately selected engine is critically important to developing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle system,” said Wayne Eckerle, vice president, research and technology, Cummins Inc. “We believe that through the team’s efforts we can soon make these innovations commercially available, which has the potential to translate into substantial savings annually per vehicle, helping our customers and the environment.”
Cummins claims reductions of fuel consumption will be met or exceeded during a wide-range of drive cycles designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of commercial fleet operators.
The fuel reduction goals will be achieved through the use of an electrified vehicle powertrain, optimization of the internal combustion engine operation, and other technologies including intelligent transportation systems and electronic braking.
According to Cummins, the company, partnered with the DofE and other agencies, devoted at least $700 million to research and development expenses for a fourth consecutive year in 2015, reaching $718 million.
Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, Cummins employs approximately 55,000 people worldwide and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of approximately 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 7,200 dealer locations. Cummins earned $1.4 billion on sales of $19.1 billion in 2015.