PACCAR, Daimler and Cummins join forces

Freightliner eCascadia, January 2019, Las Vegas. Range, 250 miles, Battery Size, 550 kwH, Peak Horse Power, 730 kW, Recharge Time 90min for 80% SOC, Class 8.

Cummins, Daimler Truck and PACCAR have announced a multi-billion-dollar partnership to accelerate and localise battery cell production.

The planned joint venture between the major OEMs will involve a Chinese technology partner as the companies ramp up commitments to electric commercial vehicles and industrial applications in the United States.

Accelera by Cummins, Daimler Truck and PACCAR will each own 30 per cent of, and jointly control, the venture, which will initially focus on the lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery technology family for commercial battery-electric trucks.

The remaining 10 per cent will go to EVE Energy, a Huizhou-based business in China, who will contribute its battery cell design and manufacturing knowledge.

The total investment is expected to be in the range of $2-3 billion for a 21-gigawatt hour (GWh) factory.

According to PACCAR, the LFP battery cells produced by the joint venture will be able to offer several advantages to other battery chemistries, including lower cost, longer life and enhanced safety, without the need for nickel and cobalt raw materials.

PACCAR’s European brand DAF, whose XD series was named the International Truck of the Year, is considered an ideal platform for the second generation of battery electric vehicles.

Accelera by Cummins, Daimler Truck and PACCAR expect to see growing demand for battery technology throughout this decade.

Cummins Chair and CEO, Jennifer Rumsey, said the strategic joint venture will enable the OEMs to create the necessary scale for access to cost effective and differentiated battery cell technology, ultimately creating value for commercial vehicle customers.

“We have the responsibility to decarbonise in a way that is best for all of our stakeholders and the planet,” she said.

“This requires working closely with key partners. [The] 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.”

According to Daimler Truck CEO, Martin Daum, it will enable economies of scale beyond Daimler Truck.

“For Daimler Truck, partnerships and a strict focus on costs and smart capital allocation are the key levers to succeed on the path towards sustainable transportation,” he said.

“It is a key puzzle piece of our battery industrialization strategy, ensuring access to the right battery cell technology at the right cost.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and receipt of applicable merger control and regulatory approvals including the submission of a voluntary notice to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

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