Cummins to use India to develop, test electric powertrains for emerging markets

GREATER NOIDA, India (Reuters) - U.S.-based engine maker Cummins Inc plans to hire a team of engineers in India to modify its existing electric powertrain technology and make it more relevant for emerging markets, a senior company executive told Reuters on Thursday.

Cummins, which is initially developing electric powertrains for buses, is also planning to set up a testing facility in India subsequently, its executive director for electrification, Julie Furber, said on the sidelines of India’s biennial auto show near the capital New Delhi.

“There are unique challenges in India with the way vehicles are operated and the kind of traffic there is in cities. It will be a good learning base for us,” Furber said, adding that what it develops in India will also be relevant for other emerging markets such as Africa that are yet to look at electrification.

The move by Cummins comes when India has set an ambitious target to electrify all new vehicles in the country by 2030, and it wants to push the electrification drive through mass public transport like buses and taxis.

Furber said once India develops regulations for electric vehicles and customers begin to adopt them, Cummins will start investing in setting up manufacturing in the country.

The engine maker’s local unit said in September that commercial vehicle makers in India have asked it to look into electric mobility solutions.

Cummins has said it globally plans to invest $500 million over the next three years to develop an electrified powertrain product line, and the engineers in India will also do work for other global markets.

Reporting by Aditi Shah, editing by David Evans