New brand for New Power at Cummins
By Mike Brezonick08 March 2023
Accelera by Cummins intended to highlight zero-emissions technologies and solutions
Cummins Inc. has announced the launch of Accelera by Cummins, the new brand for what previously had been its New Power business unit. The new brand is intended to represent a diverse portfolio of zero-emissions solutions for many of the world’s most important industries and empower customers to accelerate their transition to a sustainable future.
Cummins said the launch of Accelera is a significant step forward in its efforts to achieve its Destination Zero strategy, which aims to employ multiple solutions to reach zero emissions across its product portfolio.
“Achieving our goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 requires leveraging our entire portfolio of businesses,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins president and chief executive officer.
“As we have continued to lead in and advance the engine-based solutions that power our customers’ businesses, we have also built the broadest combination of zero-emissions technologies dedicated to the commercial vehicle industry like battery electric and fuel cell electric powertrain solutions and electrolyzers for green hydrogen production.
“Establishing Accelera reinforces our commitment to leading in zero-emissions solutions and highlights our unmatched ability to leverage our deep understanding of our customers’ needs and applications, technical expertise and extensive service and support network to walk hand in hand with our customers throughout the energy transition.”
Big investments in capabilities
Over the past several years, Cummins has invested more than $1.5 billion in research and technology, capital and acquisitions to build Accelera’s technological capabilities. Accelera is advancing a range of zero-emissions solutions, including hydrogen fuel cells, batteries, e-axles, traction systems and electrolyzers, to sustainably power a variety of industries from commercial transportation to chemical production.
Both a components supplier and integrator, Accelera is decarbonizing applications like buses, trucks, trains, construction equipment, stationary power and carbon intense industrial processes.
“When we formed New Power, we always tried to acknowledge that as decarbonization happened, it might take different ways of doing business,” said Amy Davis, formerly president of the Cummins New Power division and now president of Accelera by Cummins.
“New business models would emerge. We always wanted to be open and have a little bit of separation so that we can be responsive, agile to a really rapidly changing environment.
“This is just another step in that, giving it a little bit of room from the rest of Cummins. To lean on Cummins but then also have room to innovate and find new business models. Accelera by Cummins is intentional, because that underpinning does differentiate us.”
Shining a light on successes
At the same time the new brand is also intended to highlight Cummins’ zero-emissions achievements, which Davis feels may have been overshadowed by the hype surrounding newer, less diversified companies.
“Honestly,” Davis said, “have we really gotten all the recognition for our successes in zero solutions compared to a lot of the pure plays? Do we really stand out and have the light shined on us in comparison with some of the companies in this space? There’s a lot of cool things Cummins does and we want to highlight those. But we also want to shine the light on wholly zero-carbon solutions and how they stand out against pure plays.”
As part of the launch of Accelera, a number of zero-emissions projects were announced. They include:
- Accelera will supply a 90 MW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer system for Varennes Carbon Recycling’s plant in Quebec, Canada. The project, which will be the largest electrolyzer project Cummins has announced to date, will help turn non-recyclable waste into bio fuels and circular chemicals.
- Accelera and Blue Bird aim to power a new fleet of 1000 electric school buses across the United States over the next 12 to 18 months. Production of the electric school buses will be significantly accelerated, more than doubling the zero-emissions school buses that the pair have put into operation since the start of production.
The new projects are in addition to a series of earlier moves, which included the acquisition of Meritor and the Siemens Commercial Vehicle business to advance electric powertrain solutions; increasing global electrolyzer manufacturing capacity with gigawatt-scalable plants in Fridley, Minn. – its first in the United States – and in Spain; powering the world’s largest PEM electrolyzer in operation in the world in Bécancour, Canada; powering the world’s first fleets of hydrogen fuel cell passenger trains in Germany; and powering 52 fuel cell city buses in Lingang, Shanghai, China.
“I think Accelera more embodies what we are about which is accelerating the transition,” Davis said. “It’s not about new or old power - all of these technologies are new. It’s actually about innovation and Accelera is just about accelerating net zero now.
“We’re still an important and integral part of Cummins we’ll and leverage the relationships and all the capabilities that serve our OEMs today. I think of it as an “and” proposition. They already know us and now they say OK, so is there more that we can get? And hopefully that will open up the doors to explore bolder things.”
And what does “Accelera” mean?
Cummins said that “Accelera is a combination of three words – accelerate, era and etcetera.
“Accelerate is at the heart of what we do,” Davis said. “We are focused, day in and day out, on accelerating the most demanding applications to net zero solutions.
“The next word is era. We are clearly in a new era, the era of decarbonization and we are the company that’s going to lead customers through this era. The next work is etcetera – it implies movement. It’s not going to be one iteration, it’s going to take multiple iterations of change and customized solutions to make this happens.
“And it’s very intentional that it’s ‘by Cummins.” Because there is no other pure plays out there that have the support and backing of a company like Cummins. The manufacturing scaling capabilities, the engineers around the world who can help us solve problems and the global footprint that can support applications when they’re in service.”