TM4 and Cummins Announce Joint Effort to Develop Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain

TM4 and Cummins' jointly developed hybrid powertrain will help reduce fuel consumption by 50%.

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TM4 Inc. and Cummins Inc. announce a joint effort to develop a plug-in hybrid powertrain for Class 7/8 transit buses that can reduce fuel consumption by at least 50% over conventional hybrid buses. The project aims to provide transit authorities with a flexible, more efficient drivetrain and a long range zero emission capability for inner city routes.

TM4 is a world leader in electric powertrain development and equipped an astonishing 5,000 buses in China last year. TM4’s expertise and real-road experience will be instrumental in developing an optimized powertrain for plug-in transit buses. The system consists of a gen-set (Cummins’ Euro 2019 B4.5 internal combustion engine coupled with TM4’s LSG130 electric generator), an external ultrafast charging infrastructure, a power collector, a 111 kW-h onboard Li-ions battery, a TM4 SUMO electric motor directly connected to the axle’s differential, a small fuel tank and all power electronics and controls that allow the system to work.

“TM4 has always innovated to serve the market needs. Today, our customers can buy battery electric or hybrid buses with limited EV range. Our goal is to offer a system that can achieve 35 km EV range and benefit from the 450 kW fast charging infrastructure to recharge in less than 5 minutes. The range extender allows for peace of mind and significant flexibility. We are honored to be partnering with Cummins and hope to bring this product to market in the near future,” says Robert Baril, Managing Director of TM4.

With their expertise in internal combustion engines and related products, Cummins researchers will optimize the powertrain by selecting the engine with the best architecture to use as an electric commercial vehicle range extender, using the engine to manage the charge level of the all-electric drive battery pack. The range extender will be integrated, using advanced vehicle controls, with the electrified powertrain and other applicable technologies.

“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. We believe that through the team’s efforts we can become a  significant player in electrification of commercial vehicles by providing complete systems to benefit our global customers,” says Wayne Eckerle, VP, Cummins Research and Technology

The plug-in hybrid powertrain will be shown for the first time at UITP, taking place in Montreal, from May 15-17, 2017.

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