ACT News 2017

Cummins Taps Gillig for Battery Buses

October 30, 2017 in batteries, Companies, Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids, transit by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Talks Up Its Driveline at APTA and Europe’s BusWorld

Cummins unveiled a partnership for 100% battery-electric buses with Gillig at the American Public transportation Association’s tri-annual gala in Atlanta this month, and two weeks later introduced its all-electric drive to the European market at the BusWorld exhibition in Belgium.

Cummins images include the company’s REEV/range-extended electric vehicle driveline (with engine), 70-kilowatt-hour battery enclosure applicable to both REEV and fully electric vehicles, and 2.8-liter diesel engine for REEV applications. Note Sumo HD motor by TM4 at center.

Cummins moved dramatically beyond fuel engines by unveiling an all-battery Class 7 delivery truck, the “Urban Hauler EV,” late this past summer (F&F, August 29).

A collaboration with Canada’s TM4 on electric drive vehicles was announced earlier in the year (F&F, May 15).

Last week Cummins said it was buying Oregon battery developer Brammo to further its EV ambitions (F&F, October 23).

Gillig to Be First

Now the company says that Gillig will be the first to field electric buses with Cummins drives.

Their technical collaboration “focuses on integrating and optimizing new battery electric technology offered by Cummins that will soon power Gillig zero-emissions transit buses,” Cummins said at APTA.

“Gillig has a very strong business relationship with Cummins, and now, with our new technical partnership, we have been able to share our respective technology roadmaps and jointly develop a vision to deliver the most comprehensive, advanced technology battery electric bus in the market for our customers,” Gillig president Derek Maunus said in the Cummins release.

‘Decades of Heavy Duty Transit Experience’

“We have leveraged our companies’ decades of heavy duty transit experience in the design of the system, and will integrate this advanced technology into Gillig’s industry leading proven platform,” he said, describing the new Cummins electrified powertrain as “a major leap forward for the industry…

CNG-fueled Gillig buses for Phoenix-Valley Metro (F&F, April 5, 2016).

“The partnership enables a close technical collaboration so we can accelerate system integration and performance optimization work to leap ahead of others in the industry,” Maunus said.

The initial target is a bus with a single-charge range of 200 miles using a direct-drive traction motor generating neaely 2,600 foot-pounds of peak torque (3,500 Nm).

Service & Support Too

“Beyond the technical development work, the partnership will also encompass the full range of 24/7 service support, diagnostics, over-the-air connectivity, flexible warranty plans and training programs ready for when these Gillig electric buses enter service,” said Cummins North America sales VP Amy Boerger.

Cummins VP Amy Boerger

“At Cummins, we see our customer support network equally as important as the technology we offer, and it will be a distinct advantage for us when we introduce electrified systems,” she said.

“Gillig will have first access to this important zero-emissions technology,” she said.

Commonality’ Too

Cummins currently provides diesel- and natural gas-fueled engines for a wide range of Gillig transit products, ranging from trolleys to BRT/bus rapid transit vehicles.

“The addition of Cummins electrified power systems to the bus range will align with transit customers looking to introduce zero-emissions buses to their fleets while still maintaining commonality with their existing Gillig vehicles and service support provision,” Cummins says.

“Cummins and Gillig have been working together since the 1950s,” said Gillig president Maunus.

(Gillig’s first all-electric buses, for Walnut Creek, Calif., have BAE Systems drives; F&F, February 2, 2017.)

Modular Battery Format

Later this month, at the BusWorld exhibition in Belgium, Cummins released additional information about its drivelines for BEV/battery-electric vehicles and REEV/range-extended electric vehicle systems for transit.

“The Cummins electrified system is ideally suited for integration into city, intercity and airport buses with a high-efficiency traction motor providing direct drive with continuous acceleration and quiet operation,” Cummins said.

Cummins’s 70-kilowatt-hour modular battery pack

“Enhanced energy storage for the BEV and REEV system is achieved with a high-density battery enclosure, designed by Cummins in a compact, modular format for both on-roof and chassis integration into existing bus designs.”

‘The Broadest, Most Energy-Diverse Power Portfolio’

“The introduction of our new BEV and REEV systems will complement Cummins clean diesel, natural gas and diesel-hybrid products to offer the broadest, most energy-diverse power portfolio — one able to meet the needs of every transit route, every duty cycle and every environmental consideration in Europe on the most cost-effective basis,” said Cummins global bus business GM Brian Wilson in the manufacturer’s BusWorld announcement.

Cummins described a 70-kilowatt-hour battery pack, eight of which on a BEV bus would yield a single-charge range of up to 360 kilometers, or 224 miles. Three of the battery packs would yield a single-charge range of up to 135 kilometers/84 miles, said to be a significant advantage over conventional diesel-hybrid bus capability.

REEV buses would employ a 2.8-liter, 160-horsepower diesel engine representing “a 60% downsize in displacement compared to engines used in an equivalent diesel bus,” Cummins says.

Cummins unveiled the new all-battery Class 7 ‘Urban Hauler EV’ truck late this past August at a gala event at its technical center in Columbus, Indiana (F&F, August 29). Now it’s clear that Cummins has set its sights on the battery bus sector as well.

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Source: Cummins with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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