Cummins will make prototype of electric truck
Cummins Inc., which signed a long-term deal last year to make diesel powertrains for Isuzu medium-duty trucks, is adding a Class 6 battery-electric powertrain prototype to the mix that will go into customer demonstrations in Q2.
The PowerDrive 6000 is used in Gillig transit and Bluebird school buses. A PowerDrive 8000 version will go into a Kalmar terminal tractor this year capable of pulling gross vehicle weights from 80,000 to 195,000 pounds, Cummins announced in December.
“It’s the same powertrain, so we’re leveraging that and extending it into the medium-duty truck space,” Brian Wilson, Cummins (NYSE: CMI) general manager of electrified components in the company’s New Power division, told FreightWaves.
“We’ve built a really strong relationship with Isuzu over the years. We continue to look for other places to collaborate, and this was an extension of those conversations. You can imagine a world where success happens, they could think about extending it,” Wilson said.
First fruit of powertrain partnership
Japan-based Isuzu Motors Ltd. is a leader in Class 4-5 medium-duty cabover trucks. The Cummins prototype will start in Isuzu’s Class 6 F-Series in North America. It is the first zero-emission product to result from the Isuzu Cummins Powertrain Partnership formed in May 2019.
“As part of the path to carbon neutrality, it is significant for us to start this project in North America,” Koichi Seto, Isuzu director of the board and senior executive officer, said in a press release.
Other than saying there is a “long list” of customers in queue, Cummins would not disclose which Isuzu fleet customers will test the battery-electric prototype. There is no guarantee of commercialization but Wilson is hopeful.
And for good reason.
Demand for zero-emissions electric trucks is growing along with burgeoning last-mile and regional pickup and delivery. Six states, starting with California, will introduce sales quotas for zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024. Fleets are being asked by customers for electric trucks to meet sustainable transportation goals that are becoming mainstream.
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Source and credits: Alan Adler / freightwaves.com / Modern Shipper
iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski / iTrucker.com
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