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Accelera by Cummins, Daimler Truck and PACCAR Form a Joint Venture to Advance Battery Cell Production in The United States

Clean Transport

Big News For Big Trucks — Cummins, Paccar, Daimler Launch Battery JV

Three of the biggest names in heavy equipment are launching a new joint venture to co-develop advanced, lightweight electric truck batteries.

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In what could be a decisive strategic move for the North American clean trucking industry, Cumminsaccelera brand has announced a joint venture with fellow trucking giants Daimler (Freightliner, Western Star) and Paccar (Kenworth, Peterbilt) to manufacture battery cells for electric commercial vehicles and industrial, heavy equipment applications. Ownership of the planned JV will be split three ways, with each company owning 30%. The remaining 10% will be owned by EVE Energy, which will serve as a “technology partner.”

Initial details are sparse — but it’s still early days. What we can say is that the total investment from the four companies is expected to be in the range of $2-3 billion, and the factory will have a production capacity in the range of 21-gigawatt hours (GWh). It’s also expected to create a number of, “highly desirable US manufacturing jobs in the growing clean technology sector.”

Another thing we can tell you is that the factory will focus on LFP-style batteries. The official copy tells us that, “the LFP battery cells produced by the joint venture will be able to offer several advantages compared to other battery chemistries, including lower cost, longer life, and enhanced safety, without the need for nickel and cobalt raw materials.” That’s great news for the companies’ traditionally more conservative customers, a number of whom have been pounding the internet drums about the ethical horrors of cobalt mining (despite the fact that cobalt has been used for nearly a century in the petroleum industry).

It’s worth noting, too, that Chinese-owned EVE Energy is a global leader in the manufacture of LFP battery cells, and is publicly traded on the Shenzhen stock exchange.

Still, this is being sold as an American effort meant to create American manufacturing jobs for American trucks. “We have the responsibility to decarbonize in a way that is best for all of our stakeholders and the planet,” explains Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “This requires working closely with key partners. Today’s announcement reflects that action. Not only are we advancing a key technology solution for our customers, but accelerating the energy transition in the United States.”

“Our vision is the highest quality, locally produced battery technology to enhance the operations of our customers and help them achieve their operational and environmental goals,” said PACCAR Chief Executive Officer Preston Feight, echoing the “local” vibe of the announcement.

The final formation of the JV is subject to customary closing conditions, as well as the usual regulatory approvals including the submission of a voluntary notice to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). It’s expected to get those presently.


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