Cummins is planning to make the shift from conventional engines to electric mobility and to realise that dream, the firm is looking to make investments in India to manufacture battery packs for commercial vehicles.
“We will soon start manufacturing batteries in India and initially we will continue to focus on the commercial vehicle segment,” said Julie Furber, executive director of electrification business development at the American company.
“While we are already talking to partners here to take this forward, we will soon be making investments towards new technology in India.”
Interestingly, Cummins has already started working to develop an entire infrastructure for full-fledged production of electric automobiles after it acquired of British chemicals group Johnson Matthey’s automotive battery systems business, which specialises in making high-voltage batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. Before that, the firm had already acquired another battery manufacturer, Brammo, earlier in October.
“We are also ready with hybrid engines to service the Indian market. We have recently developed a range extender which can take buses and trucks to over 150 miles (241 kms) in one charge without compromising much on space and weight,” Furber said.
Cummins has invested over $1 billion in India in the past five years, including in a Rs 1,500-crore global technical centre in Pune where it has hired about 2,000 engineers.
“The global technical centre will become operational this month and the centre will not only serve the Indian market but will also provide strong support to the markets overseas,” Furber said.
Cummins has been present in India for more than six decades. Tata Motors has been one of its key customers here. Recently, the company announced plans to invest in engine meeting the Bharat Stage VI emission standards that will come into force in India in 2020.
While Cummins expects the conventional internal combustion engine to remain relevant for the foreseeable future, Furber said the company was also committed to developing green technologies.
“The world is talking about reduction of CO2 which we are aware of and we will certainly provide all possible solution, which includes hybrid, electrification and other alternate fuel powertrain,” she said.