Heavy vehicle manufacturer Cummins (NYSE: CMI) has been awarded a $4.5-million grant from the DOE to develop a Class 6 commercial PHEV.
Class 6 vehicles weigh between 19,000 and 26,000 pounds fully loaded – examples include school buses and single-axle work trucks.
The goal of the project is to reduce fuel consumption by at least 50%. Cummins hopes to achieve this goal over a wide range of drive cycles, in order to meet the needs of a wide variety of commercial fleet operators.
Cummins researchers plan to select an engine with the optimal architecture to use as a range extender to manage the charge level of the vehicle’s battery pack.
“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,” said Cummins VP Wayne Eckerle. “We believe that through the team’s efforts we can soon make these innovations commercially available.”