Cummins Beats Tesla to the Punch with Electric Big Rig


Sep 05, 2017

The electric vehicle industry has been jam packed with action these last few months. And while the world’s top automakers have announced everything from EV business partnerships and new engine technologies, the discussion is never complete unless we talk about Tesla. And this time, the California automaker synonymous with electric vehicle tech just might be facing a run for its money from an unlikely competitor.

Cummins, the engine manufacturer best known for its applications on big rigs, has unveiled a concept electric semi-truck, just weeks before Tesla is said to be revealing its own.

Engadget says the Cummins offering, the AEOS concept, runs on an electric motor and a 140kWh battery pack. It's said to be roughly as powerful as a 12-liter fossil fuel engine and can haul 44,000 pounds of cargo, with the ability to charge in an hour.

But that said, the vehicle has some drawbacks that Tesla’s likely won’t: specifically, the Cummins model possesses a range of only 100 miles, which would work for regional milk runs, but means long haul trucking won’t touch it.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s model is expected to offer a range that’s double or triple that of what Cummins has. Additionally, Elon Musk has described Tesla’s vehicle as a "spry truck" that you can drive around like a sports car.

But perhaps most important will be the production capabilities and timelines for these projects, as the first to market may find themselves with a competitive advantage.