Cummins receives nearly $5M from the DOE for high power density inverter project to accelerate advancements in zero emissions vehicles

Columbus, Indiana

Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) announced today that it has been awarded $5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for its project to develop a high-power density inverter, to continue the company’s innovative work to find additional ways to reduce emissions across global power and energy solutions.

The project is one of 24 announced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The agency will invest $60 million in these projects aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from passenger cars and light and heavy-duty trucks. The projects will help decarbonize the transportation sector and enhance the infrastructure needed to support the growing adoption of zero-emissions vehicles — crucial to reaching the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

“It’s our mission to help our customers reduce their carbon footprints today, as the transition to zero-emissions accelerates globally,” said Wayne Eckerle, VP Research and Technology, Cummins Inc. “As producers in early adoption markets, we use our learnings to improve the enabling technology, bring down costs, improve performance, and ultimately incentivize additional markets to transition. Forging a path to zero-emissions will strengthen American competitiveness, create good jobs that last, and combat climate change while providing cleaner air for all; and these grant awards and partnerships help us achieve these aims.” 

Transportation accounts for approximately 30% of total U.S. energy needs and generates the largest share of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The projects, funded through DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), address the two largest contributors to transportation sector emissions: passenger cars and light-duty trucks account for nearly 60% of transportation emissions and medium and heavy-duty trucks account for nearly 25% of transportation emissions.

“Fossil-fuel powered cars and trucks are a leading cause of air pollution and carbon emissions, and that is why we are focusing on decarbonizing the transportation sector to achieve President Biden’s climate goals,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Partnering with industry and leading research universities, DOE’s investment in these 24 projects will create technologies and techniques that will cut vehicle greenhouse emissions and boost America’s competitiveness in the global clean energy market.”

Commercial vehicles like trucks and buses have higher daily mileage requirements and a longer life than passenger cars. The role of an inverter is to take the direct current (DC) energy from the batteries and convert it to alternating current (AC) required by the motor. This Cummins-led project with partners from the Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES) at Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will develop a high-power density traction inverter that involves work at the material level to reduce losses by applying mechanical, electrical, and thermal engineering for a highly integrated, reliable, and compact solution. This traction inverter aims to achieve a power density of 100 kW/L, which will aid the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) integration of it in their space-challenged vehicles.

The Cummins project is one of 12 that will focus on developing next generation electric-drive components such as traction inverter and lithium batteries to improve the power density, performance, life span, durability, safety, and affordability. These advancements would increase the useful life of EVs and enable more affordable, better performing vehicles. (Total award amount: $28.1 million.)   
Access a full list of the projects HERE.

Cummins also recently announced it was awarded $5 million from the U.S. DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office for the automation of solid oxide electrolyzer cell and stack assembly.

About Cummins Inc.

Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from diesel, natural gas, electric and hybrid powertrains and powertrain-related components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, batteries, electrified power systems, hydrogen generation and fuel cell products. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.), since its founding in 1919, Cummins employs approximately 57,800 people committed to powering a more prosperous world through three global corporate responsibility priorities critical to healthy communities: education, environment and equality of opportunity. Cummins serves its customers online, through a network of company-owned and independent distributor locations, and through thousands of dealer locations worldwide and earned about $1.8 billion on sales of $19.8 billion in 2020. Learn more at cummins.com.

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