Cummins reveals electrified off-highway powertrain concept

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Less than a year after outlining its roadmap to electrification, Cummins has unveiled its first electrified off-highway powertrain concept.

The range extended electric driveline (REEV) is suitable for a wide range of equipment including wheeled loaders, mobile cranes and excavators. The REEV was unveiled at Intermat in Paris in April.

“Cummins is developing a portfolio of alternative power for the industrial market, including full electric and range extending electric drivelines,” said Julie Furber, executive director of Cummins Electrified Power Business. “These complement our Stage V clean diesels and enable us to offer the best solutions for our customers, whatever their needs.”

Cummins Battery Electric (BEV) system will provide pure electric power with zero emissions on a single charge at the point of use, intended for the most environmentally challenging locations.  BEV will be suitable for applications such as drills, underground mine trucks and terminal tractors.

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The REEV offers a balance of battery power with a compact engine-generator.  It works in the same manner as a BEV, but has both an F3.8 Stage V powered generator and plug-in options for charging, as a way to provide more flexibility where charging infrastructure is not available.

The generator uses a high-efficiency traction motor, which provides continuous torque of 1,850 Nm, eliminating the need for gear shifting and dramatically reducing powertrain noise.

A peak torque boosts up to 3,400 Nm is available when the machine hits difficult working conditions.

“With our recent acquisitions of Brammo and Johnson Matthey Battery Systems we are building capability across the entire range of electric storage,” Furber said.

At Intermat, the Cummins display outlined how the REEV would power a wheel loader with a 20 tonne capability.  The machine would be charged overnight, allowing 2 hours of operation per 35 kWh battery.  The longer the need for zero emission operation, the more batteries needed.

“The high-density battery enclosure and engine can be sized to deliver the best balance between ultra-low emission and zero emission operation,” Furber said.

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In May, at the Battery Show in Hannover, Germany, Cummins unveiled its full-lithium-ion battery portfolio.

The portfolio includes battery packs and battery modules that can be integrated with Cummins’ new electric and hybrid powertrain portfolio, providing customers with a range of power solutions for small and large applications.

“With a 100-year-long track record of powering our customers’ success, Cummins is leading the way in transforming the future of transportation with our cutting-edge lithium ion battery line up that’s part of a diverse power portfolio,” said Andrew Penca, general manager of Battery Systems at Cummins. “Cummins is committed to investing $500 million in electrification over three years. These investments include innovation of fully electric and hybrid power solutions that will serve our markets as they adopt electrification.”

The lineup includes the BP74E (74-kWh battery pack), BP35E (35-kWh battery pack), BM44E (4.4 kWh battery module) and BM20E (2.0 kWh battery module).

These Cummins-designed and built batteries utilize Li-ion technology with a high energy density and proprietary control technology maintaining a high battery performance for a longer zero emission range.

The modular design allows the system to be scaled and aligned with the capability and duty cycle of the application. Cummins broad expertise ranges from low voltage packs (BM44E and BM20E) that power material handling applications to high voltage energy dense battery systems (BP35E and BP74E) that have the energy needed for long range buses and trucks.

“With our recent battery pack acquisitions in the United States and United Kingdom, Cummins now has unique Lithium ion battery pack design expertise across the entire energy storage spectrum,” Penca said.

“We are pleased to release this new lineup and showcase how we are using our century’s worth of deep customer and market expertise, as well as our robust global service network, to deliver electric and hybrid products tailored specifically to fit our customers’ needs.”

Cummins’ goal is to become the industry leader in electrified power in every market it serves.

However, Furber has also said with advances in clean diesel, Cummins expects diesel engines to remain an important power source for years to come.

As well, natural gas engines — particularly those using renewable natural gas — have the potential to be incredibly clean and efficient. Hybrid engines also offer additional benefits in the right situation and Furber said Cummins is also exploring possibilities such as fuel cell technology to power data centres.

“Different solutions meet different needs,” Furber said during the Green Truck Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“We believe offering a variety of solutions is the way to go.”