Cummins say electric drive not feasible for linehaul

Long distance electric trucks still a way off

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A senior executive at Cummins has said we’re still a long way off electric-powered linehaul trucks.

Cummins, as we know, is synonymous with diesel engines, but the business has made big investments in recent times in electric powertrains.

The powertrain business wants to be the leading provider of electrified power in commercial markets.

But does that mean Cummins sees the potential of running heavy-duty trucks over long distances on electric power?

No they don’t, says Julie Furber, executive director of the electrified power business segment at Cummins Inc.

Speaking on a truck industry podcast in the U.S., Furber said several major obstacles stand in the way of electric linehaul trucks.

“The weight of batteries, the cost of batteries just do not make it an economic or effective solution for linehaul trucking today,”

“As well as the need for charging infrastructure and the charging rates for batteries also present a barrier.

“Really, from quite a long way out, we don’t see that linehaul trucking will go fully electric.

“I do see there may be certain applications of certain hybrid technologies that can add efficiency and cost effectiveness to linehaul trucking and also allow them a proportion of zero emission operation.

“The other technology that we see a potentially longer term that could apply in linehaul trucking is fuel cells.

“So, for Cummins, the good news is we continue to invest in all those technologies and can see that for the next several years diesel will be very hard to beat in that market.”

So, where will likely see electric trucks at work?

Furber says the technology is ideal for return to base type operations.

“Those types of operations that operate in the cities that are fairly short routes, so between 100 and 200 miles per day,”

“That would be pick-up and delivery vehicles, refuse operations, cement mixers, but also within heavy-duty truck with applications such as port drayage trucks which fits nicely with the technology that exists today in electrification.”

You can catch the full interview with Julie Furber from Cummins here.

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About Joel Helmes 1676 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Heavy Vehicles. With more than 20 years experience in the media, including more than 10 years heading up the car publication - Behind the Wheel, Joel is passionate about bringing a fresh perspective to the Australian road transport industry. Prior to his media career Joel worked for a number of years as a bus, truck and delivery driver.

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