Accelera by Cummins, Daimler Truck and Paccar Inc. followed the incentives in choosing northern Mississippi for a $2 billion battery-making joint venture. The factory for medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks will create 2,000 manufacturing jobs. 

Mississippi lawmakers Thursday approved $365 million in state incentives for the jobs expected to have an average salary of $66,000, according to an Associated Press report. 

The three companies announced the JV in September. Its goals in making lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in the U.S. include securing local supply and reducing costs. LFP technology is more durable and safer than lithium-ion technology in wide use. It also reduces reliance on imports from China of nickel, manganese and cobalt.

Production targeted for 2027

The 21-gigawatt hour (GWh) factory in the Magnolia State expects to begin producing battery cells in 2027. Accelera, Daimler Truck and Paccar will each own 30% of, and jointly control, the business. Huizhou, China-based EVE Energy has a 10% stake in the JV and will contribute battery cell design and manufacturing expertise.

“This site selection represents an exciting and tangible step toward advancing our Destination Zero strategy. And [it advances] our vision to lead the industry toward a decarbonized future,” Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins chair and CEO, said in a news release.

Cummins promoted LFP battery chemistry at the IAA Transportation show in Hanover, Germany, in September 2022. Both DTNA and Paccar currently use LFP battery cells from China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Cummins, through its Accelera unit, makes electric buses for Gillig as well as fully integrated electric chassis for commercial vehicles.

US battery startup failures

The failure of two U.S. battery-making startups — Romeo Power and Proterra — reduced availability of U.S.-produced batteries. Sweden’s Volvo Group, acquired Proterra’s battery-making assets for $210 million in Proterra’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Volvo competes with Daimler and Paccar

Michigan-based startup Our Next Energy focuses its LFP production on passenger cars and medium-duty trucks.

“We’ve very, very conscientiously created a joint venture with a rigid competitor [Daimler] and a long-term collaborator [Cummins],” John Rich, Paccar chief technology officer, told FreightWaves. “We saw a need to move down an adoption curve in batteries that was afforded by scale that none of us could do alone.”

Paccar expands Mississippi presence

Paccar builds engines for its Kenworth and Peterbilt brands in Columbus, Mississippi. It announced a $209 million, 50,000-square-foot expansion there in October to add engine remanufacturing. The investment created 100 jobs.

“The state, the communities and the people of Mississippi are wonderful business partners for Paccar,” CEO Preston Feight said in the release.

The joint venture awaits approvals, including from a voluntary notice to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The JV has not yet been named.

“We are living in a global economy,” Republican Rep. Trey Lamar of Senatobia, chairman of the state House Ways and Means Committee, was quoted by the AP as saying during a special legislative session. “The fact that we have companies that may be coming from outside of the United States to invest and provide jobs to Americans is a good thing.”

Related articles:

Daimler Truck, Cummins and Paccar partner to make battery cells in the US

Volvo Group wins bid for bankrupt Proterra battery assets

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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