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Cummins acquires Johnson Matthey’s automotive battery systems business; the two will collaborate on eLNO high energy battery materials

Cummins Inc. has acquired Johnson Matthey’s UK automotive battery systems business, a subsidiary of Johnson Matthey that specializes in high-voltage automotive grade battery systems for electric and hybrid vehicles. As part of the acquisition, Cummins and Johnson Matthey also agreed to collaborate on the development of high energy battery materials for commercial heavy duty applications.

The acquisition of the automotive battery systems business allows Cummins to expand its electrification and energy storage capabilities in its efforts to be a global leader in electrified power. Johnson Matthey is able to focus on developing high energy battery materials, including its class-leading enhanced lithium nickel oxide (eLNO) product (earlier post), for transport applications within its overall technology portfolio.

Johnson Matthey says that eLNO represents a step change in energy density compared to NMC(622), NMC(811) and NCA materials.

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Source: Johnson Matthey. Click to enlarge.

The parties intend to collaborate on the development of new products with enhanced performance characteristics for commercial applications.

The addition of Johnson Matthey Battery Systems’ technical expertise and customer base in markets that are more rapidly adopting electrification further positions us as a global energy storage supplier. By combining our electrification capabilities, portfolio of diverse power solutions, and global network, Cummins is uniquely positioned to lead in electrification. What differentiates us is our ability to help customers succeed with high quality products across the spectrum of power solutions they use, whether it’s electric, diesel, natural gas or other energy solutions.

—Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc.

This collaboration with Cummins is an important step for us. It will enable us to grow our position in high energy battery materials, particularly for heavy duty applications, and apply our chemistry expertise to develop new products that will give our customers, and ultimately consumers, the performance they demand from electrically powered vehicles. In divesting our automotive battery systems business to Cummins we can focus on our strategy of expanding our eLNO platform and developing commercial battery materials for the full range of transport applications.

—Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive, Johnson Matthey

As one of Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery system suppliers, this business has 50 employees and is based in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.

In October 2017, Cummins acquired Brammo, which is known for designing and developing low-voltage battery packs for mobile and stationary applications. With the addition of Johnson Matthey Battery Systems high-voltage battery expertise, Cummins now has capability across the entire range of energy storage options.

The acquisition was signed and closed on 31 January. Cummins will continue to explore other opportunities to add electrification capabilities as it prepares for delivery of electrified powertrains to customers in 2019. In August 2017, Cummins revealed a fully electric class 7 demonstration Urban Hauler Tractor. (Earlier post.)

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