Video: The promise and challenge of electric vehicles
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Julie Furber, the executive director of electrification at Cummins, sees promise and limitations when it comes to the electrification of commercial vehicles. "We do believe in the future," she told a crowd at the recent Canadian Fleet Maintenance Summit. But technologies like batteries will need to continue to evolve.
Autocar to get first Cummins X12 engines
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. -- Autocar Trucks will be the first North American truck manufacturer to offer the new Cummins X12 engine. The 11.8-liter X12 diesel engine will be offered in ACX refuse trucks beginning in October, when Cummins starts full production of the X12 at its Jamestown, N.Y. facility. Autocar will begin accepting orders for X12-powered trucks in June. According to Autocar, the X12 will net customers an additional 733 pounds of payload compared to the previous engine, the ISX12. The weight saving is achieved through an innovative sculpted block design, as well as weight reduction in the after-treatment system, power take-off, and other components. The X12 also offers improved low-speed torque, even with similar horsepower ratings. At 2,050 pounds dry weight, the X12 is the lightest engine in the market compared to existing 11-, 13-, and 15-liter engines.
Here Comes the Sun: Does solar have a role as an alternative fuel?
TORONTO, Ont. -- In some corners of North America, the idea of adding solar power to a truck or trailer is a no-brainer. You'd be forgiven for thinking that none of those corners are in Canada. That's mostly true, but it doesn't necessarily mean that solar has no place here. Just that you must be careful in assessing manufacturer claims about what their solar gizmo can actually do. Almost all of Canada gets an average of 4.2 hours of solar sunlight a day. Two areas -- a small stretch of the southern prairies and a little ribbon of central B.C. -- crank that number up to 4.5 hours. Compare that to as many six hours in Arizona, New Mexico, and a patch of southeast California. Doesn't sound like much of a difference, but it's a big deal. A 300-watt solar setup that can help to run a tractor's electric APU in that part of the U.S. would probably have to be a 600- or 800-watt setup for a rig running, say, a Toronto-Montreal-Halifax route. It also means that manufacturer claims can be rather idealistic if calculations were based on experience in warm and sunny parts of our world. There's no subterfuge involved here, but “your mileage may vary,” as they say.
Amazon re-shaping ‘final mile’ and beyond
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Amazon -- the bookseller that transformed into the world’s largest online retailer – has been transforming the way goods are trucked to market. And not just the freight that rolls through its distribution centers. Thank (or blame) the need for speed.