Cummins, Daimler, PACCAR form joint venture for US battery cell production

Sept 6 (Reuters) – Accelera, a zero-emissions business unit of Cummins (CMI.N), Daimler Trucks & Buses US Holding and PACCAR (PCAR.O) said on Wednesday they formed a joint venture to advance battery cell production in the United States.

Demand for lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery technology remains strong from companies such as Tesla (TSLA.O), Toyota Motor (7203.T), Ford Motor (F.N) and Hyundai Motor (005380.KS), looking to cut back expenses and push out more affordable electric vehicles (EV).

Daimler Truck, Accelera and PACCAR will each own 30% of the joint venture, which will initially focus on LFP battery technology family for commercial battery-electric trucks.

The companies, which expect to see growing demand for their battery technology through the decade, added they expect to invest between $2 billion and $3 billion to set up a 21-gigawatt hour (GWh) factory to manufacture LFP battery cells.

“This planned joint venture enables economies of scale beyond Daimler Truck,” said Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck.

LFP battery-cell maker EVE Energy (300014.SZ) will also serve as the technology partner in the joint venture with a 10% ownership.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

LFP battery cells were developed in the United States, but Chinese companies such as BYD (002594.SZ) and CATL (300750.SZ) currently dominate global production.

Additionally, more companies have been trying to set up manufacturing facilities in the United States and take advantage of the federal subsidies offered.

Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri