Cummins/Paccar new Class 6 commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to reduce fuel consumption by at least 50% compared with conventional Class 6 vehicles

Cummins is teaming with Paccar to develop a Class 6 commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that can reduce fuel consumption by at least 50% compared with conventional Class 6 vehicles. The project is backed by a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

 “When fully loaded, Class 6 vehicles weigh between approximately 19,000 and 26,000 pounds and typical examples include school buses or single axle work trucks,” Paccar says.

Team members include Kenworth and Peterbilt parent Paccar, and representatives from Ohio State University, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Argonne National Laboratory.

Class 6 Paccar-Kenworth T270.

Class 6 Paccar-Kenworth T270.

‘Close Integration and Control’

Cummins says that its researchers will select an engine to use as a battery-charging electric commercial vehicle range extender. “The range extender will be integrated, using advanced vehicle controls, with the electrified powertrain and other applicable technologies,” states a release.

“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,” Cummins R&D VP Wayne Eckerle says in a release.

‘A Wide Range of Drive Cycles’

“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.”

To meet the needs of a wide variety of commercial fleet operators, “the reduction of fuel consumption will be met or exceeded during a wide range of drive cycles,” Cummins says. Fuel reduction goals are to be achieved via optimization of the internal combustion engine operation, “and other technologies including intelligent transportation systems and electronic braking.”