Engine manufacturer Cummins has revealed that it will invest £14m into a new powertrain test facility at its Darlington campus. The facility will help accelerate the move towards clean power technologies focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.
The American multinational corporation designs, manufactures and distributes engines. Its Darlington campus co-locates manufacturing, technical, testing and business services and employs about 1,500 staff.
Ground preparation work is now underway for the two-storey 7,943 sq ft facility, which is designed to be fuel-agnostic, and will enable Cummins to develop and test a wider range of power technologies, including universal engine platforms with variants able to operate on green hydrogen, renewable natural gas, or sustainable diesel.
Installation and testing capability will also extend to hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric powertrains.
The facility is expected to open for operations by May 2023.
Jonathan Atkinson, executive director of Cummins On-highway business in Europe said: “We are very excited to announce this significant investment in the new Powertrain test facility at Darlington, which will be an important element in Cummins destination zero strategy to deliver a broad portfolio of power solutions to meet the world’s sustainability challenges.”
He added: “The new facility will further enhance the ability of Cummins European technical operations to introduce low-to-zero carbon power solutions and meet the forthcoming Euro VII very low emission regulations, likely to take effect around 2025.”
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “Teesside’s leading position as ground zero for net zero means there is no better place to develop the cleaner, healthier, and safer technologies of the future.
“We’ve already seen how Cummins’ position at the forefront of developments into hydrogen engines is securing hundreds of jobs at their facility and this new investment is another great example of how they are creating even more good-quality, well-paid jobs by developing and pushing forward net zero innovation in in Teesside.”
The establishment of the new facility will also provide opportunities to upskill current employees as well as recruitment and training of new employees.
Automotive national officer for Unite, Steve Bush, said: “It is clear that Cummins is at the forefront of the JUST initiative, the transition towards a climate-neutral economy in a fair way that leaves no one behind, and I urge government to support them in their efforts to fully transition. “