Accelera by Cummins, truck builders to build battery plant in Mississippi

The Accelera by Cummins logo shown on a vehicle.

Accelera by Cummins and two of the biggest truck builders in the U.S. have announced plans to build a factory in Mississippi to make electric batteries for commercial trucks.

The factory will be in Marshall County in northern Mississippi, located southeast of Memphis, Tennessee, and is expected to create more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs in the state “with the option for further expansion as demand grows,” Accelera by Cummins said in an announcement Thursday.

The factory is part of a joint venture between Accelera, Daimler Trucks and Paccar. Accelera is a business segment of Cummins Inc. and is headquartered in Columbus.

“This site selection represents an exciting and tangible step toward advancing our Destination Zero strategy and our vision to lead the industry toward a decarbonized future,” Cummins Chair and CEO Jennifer Rumsey said in a statement. “We are excited to join the Marshall County community to drive economic growth and job creation in Mississippi, while continuing to expand our strong partnerships and serve the diverse needs of our customers.”

The joint venture was announced in September and seeks to create scale and deliver cost-effective battery cell technology that the companies hope will help drive adoption of electric vehicles for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, the companies said.

Each of the companies will jointly control and own 30% of the business, which will focus on lithium-iron-phosphate battery technology for commercial battery-electric trucks, the companies said. EVE Energy will own 10% of the joint venture and will contribute its battery cell design and manufacturing expertise.

The announcement from the three companies comes two days after Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves asked state legislators for $350 million in incentives for a proposed factory that would manufacture electric vehicle batteries and employ about 2,000 people in Marshall County, The Associated Press reported.

The governor, who called a special legislative session for lawmakers to consider the incentives, declined to reveal who is planning to build the $1.9 billion facility, which would be the second-largest corporate investment in the state’s history.

However, the county, number of manufacturing jobs expected to be created and the type of facility announced by Accelera coincide with the factory announced by Reeves.

In September, Accelera said it expected total investment in the facility to be in the range of $2 billion to $3 billion. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the joint venture’s facility in Mississippi will cost about $2 billion.

U.S. manufacturing of EV batteries is accelerating as automakers transition to electric vehicles, according to wire reports. The Inflation Reduction Act offers $7,500 in tax credits for consumers purchasing EVs, but only if the vehicles and batteries are assembled in North America and include minerals mined or processed domestically.

Ford is building EV battery plants in Kentucky and Tennessee, each through a joint venture with battery partner SK On, of South Korea, according to wire reports. Georgia has offered lucrative tax incentives in an effort to become a Southern hub for EV manufacturing, and at a site near Savannah, Hyundai is building its first U.S. factory devoted solely to EV production.

ExxonMobil announced in November that it would drill for lithium in southern Arkansas, with the oil giant expected to begin production of the critical material for electric vehicles by 2027.