Editorial: Accelera by Cummins strengthens company’s zero-carbon direction

What’s in a name? If it’s the name of a major multinational corporation, almost everything.

Cummins is a name known the world over, which is great for business, because the brand also carries an admirable legacy, tradition and reputation. The company ranked 149th in the 2022 Fortune 500, and it has traditionally scored well in rankings of quality, corporate responsibility and other measures.

But its leaders realize that when people hear the Cummins name, they most likely associate it with big diesel engines powering trucks, earth-movers and the like. After all, that’s been the core business segment for the company for a century.

So you can consider it a measure of corporate responsibility when last week, Cummins made a big splash in our nation’s capital by announcing its new power business will now be known as Accelera by Cummins. The new name stresses Cummins’ focus on evolving toward a zero-carbon industry while retaining the corporate legacy.

“Cummins is well known for our engine solutions,” Cummins CEO Jennifer Rumsey said at the event where the Accelera name was unveiled. “What people may not recognize is that we have a leading position today in these zero emissions technologies and really have built up our capability. It’s time that we are recognized as both an engines solutions provider and also a zero emissions solutions provider for commercial and industrial applications.”

In a way, Cummins is a victim of its past successes. For instance, Forbes wrote of the new name: “Elon Musk and … Tesla’s green energy plans are facing competition from a surprising source: Cummins, a century-old industrial giant best known for making diesel engines and generators.”

Yet Cummins’ leadership has been clear for years that the business is evolving, and that Cummins is leading.

As The Republic’s Andy East reported, “The part of the business that has been been rechristened Accelera includes Cummins’ growing electrified power and hydrogen portfolio and represents much of its efforts to invest in technologies that seek to curb greenhouse gas emissions.”

Other than the new name, much stays the same. Amy Davis, who has led the new power business since 2020, will serve as president of Accelera. The business segment, which employs about 2,000 people worldwide, will continue to be headquartered in Columbus, company officials said.

Cummins has invested about $1.9 billion in research and technology, capital and acquisitions to build Accelera’s leadership and technological capabilities over the past several years, East reported.

And now, the company believes Accelera is ready to accelerate, potentially growing to earn multi-billion-dollar annual returns by the end of the decade.

“We’ve been investing a lot and building up the new power business … and really feel at this point like it’s time to launch Accelera by Cummins to really shine a bright light on what we have today and the strong position that we plan to take in the market of zero emissions solutions for the future,” Rumsey told The Republic.

The Accelera name lays down a marker in Cummins’ evolution and establishes an identity for its technological advances as they are more broadly marketed. Seems to us like good business.