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Cummins acquires Johnson Matthey battery unit

Source: Cummins

Cummins continues its EV tech acquisition spree as it prepares to deliver electric powertrains to customers from 2019

Engine manufacturer Cummins has continued its push into the electric transport sector via another acquisition, this time taking on a UK unit of chemicals and tech conglomerate Johnson Matthey.

Johnson Matthey’s (JM) UK automotive battery systems business specialises in high-voltage automotive grade battery systems for EVs and hybrids. Together with its new owner, the group intends to work on the developing “high-energy battery materials” for commercial heavy duty applications (we assume this means better-performing batteries with greater energy density).

JM says its work will include a focus on its enhanced lithium nickel oxide (eLNO) product. Its Milton Keynes site employs 50 people.

The move follows a similar acquisition last October, when Cummins took over battery packs and storage system maker Brammo. In addition to battery packs, the company had also manufactured its own racing cars and an electric motorcycle, before selling off its production units to focus specifically on batteries.

“With the addition of Johnson Matthey Battery Systems high-voltage battery expertise, Cummins now has capability across the entire range of energy storage options,” Cummins said in a statement.

“The addition of Johnson Matthey Battery Systems’ technical expertise and customer base in markets that are more rapidly adopting electrification further positions us as a global energy storage supplier,” said Cummins chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger. “By combining our electrification capabilities, portfolio of diverse power solutions, and global network, Cummins is uniquely positioned to lead in electrification. What differentiates us is our ability to help customers succeed with high quality products across the spectrum of power solutions they use, whether it’s electric, diesel, natural gas or other energy solutions.”

“This collaboration with Cummins is an important step for us”, said JM chief executive Robert MacLeod. “It will enable us to grow our position in high energy battery materials, particularly for heavy duty applications, and apply our chemistry expertise to develop new products that will give our customers, and ultimately consumers, the performance they demand from electrically powered vehicles. In divesting our automotive battery systems business to Cummins we can focus on our strategy of expanding our eLNO platform and developing commercial battery materials for the full range of transport applications.”

Cummins says it will continue to explore other opportunities to add electrification capabilities, ahead of the deliveries of electrified powertrains to customers beginning in 2019.

It also recently unveiled an electric Class-7 truck to rival offerings from Tesla and Nikola Motor. The Urban Hauler Tractor features a 140 KWh battery pack (instead of a 12-litre engine), weighs around 34 tonnes, and will reportedly manage around 100 miles on a single charge, or 300 miles with additional battery packs.


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