Global power leader Cummins Inc. has been awarded a nearly $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop technology critical to efficiently delivering energy from batteries to the motor in zero-emission vehicles.
The award for developing a high-power density inverter continues the company’s innovative work to find additional ways to reduce emissions across global power and energy solutions. The project is one of 24 announced by federal officials, which together represent a $60 million investment aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from passenger cars and light- and heavy-duty trucks.
The Cummins-led project is one of 12 that will focus on developing next generation electric-drive components such as traction inverters and lithium batteries to improve power density, performance, life span, durability, safety, and affordability. These advancements would increase the useful life of electric vehicles (EVs) and enable more affordable, better performing EVs.
“It’s our mission to help our customers reduce their carbon footprints today, as the transition to zero-emissions accelerates globally,” said Wayne Eckerle, Vice President of Research and Technology at Cummins. “As producers in early adoption markets, we use our learnings to improve the enabling technology, bring down costs, improve performance, and ultimately incentivize additional markets to transition.”
The role of an inverter is to take the direct current energy from batteries and convert it to alternating current required by the motor. Cummins is partnering on the project with the Center for Power Electronics Systems at Virginia Tech University, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
“Fossil-fuel powered cars and trucks are a leading cause of air pollution and carbon emissions, and that is why we are focusing on decarbonizing the transportation sector to achieve President Biden’s climate goals,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Partnering with industry and leading research universities, DOE’s investment in these 24 projects will create technologies and techniques that will cut vehicle greenhouse emissions and boost America’s competitiveness in the global clean energy market.”