COLUMBUS, Ind.—Cummins Inc. today announced the company was awarded a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a Class 6 commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that can reduce fuel consumption by at least 50 percent over conventional Class 6 vehicles.
When fully loaded, Class 6 vehicles weigh between approximately 19,000 and 26,000 pounds and typical examples include school buses or single axle work trucks.
With their expertise in internal combustion engines and related products, Cummins researchers 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.
Ultimately, the researchers aim to demonstrate improved fuel consumption and state of the art drivability and performance regardless of environmental conditions.
Cummins is partnering with PACCAR on the project, and the full team includes representatives from The Ohio State University, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory.
"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."
The reduction 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.
About Cummins Research and Technology
Cummins values investment in research and development of new technologies, partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy and other government agencies. Additionally, the company devoted at least $700 million to research and development expenses for a fourth consecutive year in 2015, reaching $718 million.
The company is continuing its research and development focus on both critical future technologies and improving current technologies to meet future emissions and customer requirements around the world. Cummins' Research and Technology organization develops new technology six to 10 years, and sometimes longer, ahead of commercial production.
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins currently 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.