2017 TOP STORIES: Cummins plans all-electric powertrains for 2019

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Citing a growing demand for electric vehicles, Cummins Inc. announced in June that it will launch its first all-electric powertrains in 2019.

It’s a bold step for the Columbus, Indiana-based engine-maker, which has been known for its diesel engines since its founding in 1919. Cummins currently produces diesel/electric hybrid products, but it doesn’t yet sell all-electric powertrains.

The company said its first electric powertrains will likely power metro buses, delivery fleets and material-handling customers. By 2020, Cummins said, it expects to roll out all-electric products that have an extended operating range, making them suitable for longer-haul vehicles.

Cummins made another splash in August when it unveiled a demonstration version of its fully electric semitrailer engine. The engine isn’t yet available for purchase, and the company hasn’t set a timetable for when it will hit the market.

But Cummins said the unveiling was significant because it was an industry first, showing that Cummins is ahead of its competitors in the race to produce all-electric heavy trucks.•

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