Electric vehicles are here to stay, but the race now is between the Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV). No company worth its salt wants to be left behind and several companies are working on both technologies. Latest company to offer a fuel cell powered vehicle is the engine specialist Cummins.
Cummins showcases their proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell based commercial vehicle at the 2019 North America Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta. The vehicle on show was a class 8, 6×4 day cab tractor. This truck is suitable for vocational applications, including regional haul, urban delivery operations, port drayage and terminal container handling.
The truck is on display was designed with a 90 KW fuel cell which can be scaled up to 180 KW in increments of either 30 or 45 KW. The propulsion package also has a Li-Ion battery pack of 100 KW-H capacity. The entire propulsion package gives the truck a range of 250 miles (400 km)between refills. However, that range can be extended with additional hydrogen tanks, by increasing the tank storage pressure or installing additional fuel cells to optimize management of the vehicle load factor. Many of the critical components of the powertrain, including the PEM fuel cell, system controller, powertrain controls, wire harnesses and junction boxes, among others, were designed and developed by Cummins.