Cummins Working On At Least 2 Commercial-Duty PHEV, Range-Extending Systems

9 months ago by Mark Kane 9

Cummins

Cummins

Cummins is more and more engaged in the development of plug-in hybrid powertrains these days.

On top of a medium-duty Class 6 vehicles project supported by the DOE, there is also another undertaking for heavy-duty vehicles – like Class 7 and 8 buses.

TM4 electric motors

TM4 electric motors

The latest project was hinted at by Gary Parker (who is the Director of Electromobility programs for Cummins, Inc.) at the SAE 2016 Range Extenders for Electric Vehicles Symposium – which is apparently a real thing.

Partners in the bus project are TM4, STL (Société de transport de Laval, the public transit system in the city of Laval, Québec) and IVI (Innovative Vehicle Institute, a non-profit research center).

Including TM4 in the process means that the electric motor/inverter components are already set and done. On the battery side, there are two options on the table – LTO and NMC chemistries – LTO for fast charging (lower range), and NMC for longer range ( but slower charging). The idea is to use two prototypes for over a year, and then decide which approach is better.

Parker said:

“One bus will be LTO, the other bus will be NMC. We’ll be watching these chemistries and learning from them. We might say both are needed for the market, or we might say that one is a clear winner.”

For charging there will be two options – a 20 kW on-board charger, and an external in-route fast-charger @ 450 kW.

For range extending options, electrification of the buses would enable the company to replace standard 8.9 liter engines with something smaller – in this case a new in-house developed 4.5-liter.

For range-extending engines, Parker said, Cummins looked at the bottom half of its portfolio: engines from 2.8 liters up to the 6.7-liters. For both the DOE project and the Laval bus project, Cummins is opting to develop its 4.5-liter engine as the genset, cutting displacement requirements in half.

“The duty-cycle requirements for the plug-in buses are rigorous:

  • 13-20 hour days
  • Route cycle of 11-66 minutes
  • Fast charge time of 5 minutes
  • Daily mileage of 135-351 miles
  • % idle time of 24-60%
  • Daily stops: 957-1,131
  • Daily traction energy: 580-890 kWh

source: Green Car Congress, hat tip to Peter H!

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9 responses to "Cummins Working On At Least 2 Commercial-Duty PHEV, Range-Extending Systems"

  1. Paul Schlueter says:

    I wonder if they are considering the ETHOS E85 engine as a possible option for a range extender. This seems like it would be an obvious choice. When the battery runs low you would still be running a very low emissions engine. Pretty much all municipalities and schools already have their own fuel tanks, if they don’t already have E85 it wouldn’t be difficult or expensive to add.

    1. DJ says:

      Here’s to hoping they don’t. I suggest we put food where it belongs. In our tummies, not in our tanks.

      1. Mikael says:

        Ethanol can be made from a number of sources. We need all the solutions we can get to get rid of fossil fuels.

      2. SJC says:

        Unless you can eat corn stover, the cellulose ethanol plants in the U.S. will do just fine.

  2. georgeS says:

    I’m dreaming of Elons Class 8 pure EV semi truck with a unique supercharging network that charges at 800+ Volts.

    He already knows how to do a SC network. All he has to do is do it for semis.

    1. mx says:

      Exactly a Class 8 Hybrid should have been out 20 years ago.

  3. Bill Howland says:

    I question the need for 5 minute recharge times. 10 minute recharge time would make everything associated with it so much more efficient and cheaper.

  4. trackdaze says:

    Cummins will need to be agile and forward looking. If the old guard think they can manage profits by incremental inprovements in economy they won’t survive.

    It seems from the story they are on the right track.

    Now we need full size pickup manufacturers to follow cummins lead.

    1. mx says:

      Exactly. Tesla Fills the VOID of no Future Looking R&D in many industries.