Medium-Duty Truck Wars: Electric Vs Diesel


Comparisons between traditional pickup trucks and EV models like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T are reaching a saturation point. Sort of a “been there, done that” among automotive reviewers. So, what’s next? Well, The Fast Lane Truck YouTube channel answers that question by comparing two International Truck vehicles: one powered by a trusty Cummins Diesel and the other by a cutting-edge all-electric setup. These Class 5-7 vehicles do what one-ton pickups only dream about but still fall short of a semi’s capability.


RELATED: A Detailed Look At The International MXT

A Conventional Cummins Diesel

Presenter Andre Smirnov begins the comparison with a truck from International’s conventional MV line. “It’s like the biggest truck you ever wanted,” he notes about the jumbo service-body vehicle.

International equips these trucks with one of two six-cylinder Cummins Diesel engines: the B6.7 offers as much as 325 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque, or the L9 that cranks out up to 360 ponies and a stump-pulling 1,150 lb -ft of torque (a B6.7 powers the test truck).

Smirnov puts the MV through its paces and reminds us of the reality of such vehicles. A 0-60 time of 19.78 seconds reinforces that medium-duty trucks aren’t built for speed. Nor is fuel economy a priority, as six to seven miles per gallon with a heavy load is typical. Another consideration is fill-up costs, with the optional 70-gallon tank needing about $400 at today’s prices.


RELATED: Here’s Why The 12 Valve Cummins Is One Of The Best Diesel Engines Ever Made

Going All-Electric With A Medium-Duty Truck

At first glance, the all-electric EMV truck looks like everything else from Volkswagen-owned International. The company wants it this way with only a few exterior clues hinting at a different powerplant.

This 33,000-pound Class 7 truck uses a 210-kWh battery and a rear electric motor for motivation. In peak form, the truck offers 1,700 ft-lbs of torque or 738 ft-lbs of continuous torque. But the truck’s 135-mile range is arguably one of the EMV’s most significant handicaps. Three levels of regenerative braking can add as much as 25 miles of usability before recharge time.


Recharging a completely empty battery (a 210 kWh lithium-ion arrangement) can take about 90 minutes via a DC fast charger operating at 125 KW/hour. AC charging takes 10-12 hours, according to the video.

Interestingly, International has programmed the near-silent EMV to drive like a Diesel truck with acceleration almost identical to a Cummins-equipped model. According to the company, this helps ease the transition to an all-electric version. And, no doubt, this helps with range.

No Clear Winner

Choosing between a Cummins-powered medium-duty truck and one with an all-electric drivetrain comes down to price and use. A conventional MV cab and chassis runs from $70,000 to $95,000, while the EMV costs about $250,000.


On the other hand, refueling (or recharging) expenses for the EMV are a fraction of its Diesel stablemate. Plus, the all-electric model has substantially lower maintenance costs over the long term. Range limitations and charging times are also a make or break factor with the EMV.

Source: YouTube/TFL Truck, International

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