Cum­mins to make hy­brids

The Witness - Wheels - - TRANSPORT - ALWYN VILJOEN

AROUND the world, the enor­mous power of diese­l­elec­tric hy­brids has not gone out of fash­ion since the late 1800s, and they are still used to drive trains, gi­ant trucks and elec­tric trams.

Diesel smoke is, how­ever, rapidly go­ing out of fash­ion and more cities are join­ing Athens, Madrid, Mex­ico City, Mum­bai, Oslo, Paris and Stuttgart, which last year an­nounced they will phase out the use of diesel en­gines on their streets by 2025.

This is why Cum­mins, an Amer­i­can com­pany known for its diesel en­gines, last week an­nounced it will start mak­ing nat­u­ral gas en­gines as well as fully elec­tric or hy­brid pow­er­trains. Cum­mins al­ready has sig­nif­i­cant ex­pe­ri­ence in the elec­tri­fied pow­er­trains but the com­pany is now ex­plor­ing part­ner­ships with other groups to en­sure the de­vel­op­ment of lead­ing tech­nol­ogy in en­ergy stor­age, power elec­tron­ics, trac­tion mo­tor sys­tems and com­po­nent con­trol for com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tions to start sell­ing all-elec­tric truck en­gines from 2019.

The elec­tric driv­e­trains from Cum­mins will com­pete with the elec­tric medium de­liv­ery truck from Mit­subishi Fuso, as well China’s BYD driv­e­trains, and the Nikola 1, an elec­tric truck with a hy­dro­gen fuel cell that is cur­rently un­der­go­ing proof of con­cept in the U.S.

Mean­while in Europe, bus op­er­a­tor Nobina has or­dered 13 elec­tric Volvo buses, which will op­er­ate in the Swedish city Malmö from the end of next year.

This is the big­gest sin­gle or­der so far for the Volvo 7900 Elec­tric and marks one of the big­gest drives for all-elec­tric bus traf­fic in Swe­den.

Volvo’s elec­tric buses re­cently started op­er­at­ing in the city of Dif­fer­dange in Lux­em­bourg. In ad­di­tion to the all-elec­tric Volvo 7900 Elec­tric, the Volvo buses range of elec­tri­fied ve­hi­cles en­com­passes hy­brid buses and elec­tric hy­brid (plug-in hy­brid) mod­els.

The com­pany has sold more than 3 500 elec­tri­fied Volvo buses glob­ally.

The 12-me­tre-long city bus uses 80% less en­ergy than a cor­re­spond­ing diesel bus and its lithium-ion bat­tery bank recharges un­der over-hard gantries within three to six min­utes.

PHOTO: VOLVO

One of 3 500 full-elec­tric Volvo buses recharg­ing at a bus stop, a process that takes less than six min­utes.

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