Rumors of a Tesla semi truck have swirled for a while with CEO Elon Musk even going so far as to announce a September unveiling date. Not to be outdone, industrial manufacturer Cummins has unveiled its all-electric big rig as August winds down.
Traditionally, Cummins has been known for their heavy duty diesel engines that power many of the world's trucks, generators, boats and other industrial equipment. By revealing their Urban Hauler Tractor now, they may be looking to steal some of Tesla's thunder.
The truck, known as AEOS, is fully electric and can haul about 44,000 pounds. Powering all of this is a 140 kWh battery pack. With a range of 100 miles, Cummins is positioning the AEOS as a short haul truck for inter-city transport. Depending on the charging setup, a full charge can occur in as little as one hour.
Looking to the future, Cummins hopes to reduce the charging time to 20 minutes by 2020 as battery technology improves. They also have plans to launch a hybrid truck with a range of about 300 miles that cuts emissions by 50 percent when compared to standard diesel semis. Power-saving and drag-reducing features like roof-mounted solar panels, regenerative braking and low rolling resistance tires can increase that range even more.