President Joe Biden speaks at Cummins' Fridley, Minnesota, manufacturing plant on April 3.

Biden visits Cummins amid OEM’s $1B investment

April 10, 2023
Cummins is investing more than $1 billion across its U.S. truck engine manufacturing network to support the company’s fuel-agnostic engine platforms that will run on fuels such as including natural gas, diesel, and eventually hydrogen.

President Joe Biden visited Cummins Inc. in Fridley, Minnesota, on April 3 as part of his administration’s Investing in America tour, which touts the administration’s agenda on manufacturing and clean energy developments.

Coinciding with the visit, Cummins announced that in addition to recent investments in Fridley, the company is investing more than $1 billion across its U.S. engine manufacturing network in Indiana, North Carolina, and New York. The investment will provide upgrades to those facilities to support the company’s fuel-agnostic engine platforms that will run on low-carbon fuels, including natural gas, diesel, and eventually hydrogen.

In a few weeks, Cummins also will begin manufacturing one of the key pieces of technology for green hydrogen production—the electrolyzer.

"When Cummins first manufactured hydrogen electrolyzers, they had to make them overseas," Biden said during his visit. "These are the machines that make clean hydrogen a renewable energy used to power our economy—from clean cars to trucks to steel to cement manufacturing. Now, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act and the tax credits for renewable energy, Cummins is going to manufacture these electrolyzers here in American for the first time." 

Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins president and CEO, noted that the investments included in those pieces of legislation played a key role in Cummins' decision to manufacture products here in the U.S.

“The electrolyzer production in Minnesota and investment in our Indiana, North Carolina, and New York facilities are reflective of our dual path approach of advancing both engine-based and zero-emission solutions—an approach that is best for all of our stakeholders and our impact on the planet," Rumsey said in a statement. "We can’t do this alone and are grateful for the continued partnership and collaboration with congressional leaders and the Biden administration.”

Today, more than half of all medium- and heavy-duty trucks on the road in the U.S. use Cummins engines, according to the OEM. And moving forward, Cummins plans to add a new production line for clean energy technologies at the Fridley, Minnesota, plant. 

"Here at this plant, there are 600 workers now making diesel engines," Biden pointed out. "They will be retrained and an additional 100 jobs, so a total of 700 jobs, will be making clean energy technologies. We are seeing it as a boon for American innovation and American industry that’s good for the planet as well."

Biden added that Cummins has also signed contracts with clean hydrogen producers and utilities in New York, Florida, and Washington State. 

"Think about what it means for our supply chains and our communities," Biden said. "Before the pandemic, the supply chain wasn’t something that most Americans ended up thinking about. But today, after delays for parts and products, everyone knows why supply chains are so important. Instead of relying on equipment made overseas in places like China, the supply chains will again begin in America. Cummins will build the technology that produces clean hydrogen. Companies and utilities across the country will use those products to make clean hydrogen."

Biden also stressed the importance of bringing back other key parts of the supply chain, like semiconductor chips, to America for production. 

Cummins invests in fuel-agnostic engine, electrolyzer production

Cummins’ plans to invest $452 million in its Jamestown Engine Plant (JEP) to upgrade its 998,000 sq.-ft. facility in Western New York to produce a fuel-agnostic internal combustion engine platform that leverages a range of lower carbon fuel types. The X15N is part of the new fuel-agnostic 15-liter engine platform produced at JEP.

Cummins customers, including Walmart, Werner, Matheson, and National Ready Mix, among others, are beginning to test the first engines of the fuel agnostic platform, the X15N. Walmart will receive the first field test unit later in April to take part in the field test of this industry-first, 15-liter advanced engine platform running on renewable natural gas.

At the Fridley facility, Accelera by Cummins—Cummins' zero-emission technology brand—will soon manufacture electrolyzers, which are a critical piece of the green hydrogen economy. Hydrogen produced by electrolyzers can power hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and is used in industrial processes like steel production.

“Building electrolyzers in Fridley is helping to bring the supply chain for zero-emissions vehicles to the United States, particularly in heavy trucking industries,” Cummins said in a press release.

The Cummins Power Systems factory is a 1.1 million sq.-ft. full-service facility, concentrating on design, product, service engineering and manufacturing located just north of Minneapolis. Established in 1969, Fridley employs more than 900 and will plan to dedicate 89,000 square feet of the existing facility to electrolyzer production starting April 24. This is a $10 million investment that will support 100 new jobs by 2024, Cummins pointed out.

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About the Author

Cristina Commendatore

Cristina Commendatore is the Executive Editor of FleetOwner magazine. She has reported on the transportation industry since 2015, covering topics such as business operational challenges, driver and technician shortages, truck safety, and new vehicle technologies. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.