Cummins Gets Grant To Develop Class 6 Hybrid

By pdamon07 April 2016

Cummins Inc. announced it has been awarded a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy to develop a Class 6 commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that can reduce fuel consumption by at least 50% over conventional Class 6 vehicles.

Cummins is partnering with Paccar, the manufacturer of Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks, as well as Ohio State University, the 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.”

When fully loaded, Class 6 vehicles weigh between approximately 19,000 and 26,000 lb. Typical examples of Class 6 vehicles include school buses and single axle work trucks.

Cummins said its researchers will work to 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. 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.

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