Cummins invests in Vancouver fuel cell company

Investment in Loop Energy by Cummins follows acquisition of Canadian fuel cell maker Hydrogenics

Loop Energy team preparing one of its range hydrogen fuel cell range extenders for shipping. | Submitted

Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI), one of the world’s largest heavy duty truck engine manufacturers, is continuing its move into the hydrogen fuel cell space with another investment in a Canadian fuel cell company.

Just last week, Cummins closed on the $385 million acquisition of Hydrogenics, the Ontario based hydrogen fuel cell maker. Now it is taking an equity stake in Vancouver’s Loop Energy.

“Cummins is investing in a broad portfolio of power solutions, including advancements in hydrogen fuel cell technologies and the electrification of commercial applications," Thad Ewald, Cummins’ vice president of corporate strategy, said in a press release.

“This investment is continued evidence of our commitment to next-generation trucking technologies, and we look forward to working with Loop Energy to further validate the provision of zero-emissions fuel cell range extenders for customers."

Loop won’t say how much the investment is worth, but characterized it as an equity investment.

“It’s a good sized investment for where Loop is at,” Loop CEO Ben Nyland told Business in Vancouver.

Cummins will be using Loop Energy’s range extenders in demonstration projects.

Loop Energy developed a fuel cell range extender that can be used in hybrid electric vehicles. It acts as a generator that allows for battery electric vehicles to have have smaller battery packs.

The fact one of the world’s largest engine manufacturers is investing in fuel cell technology bodes well for the industry as a whole, Nyland said.

“It tells us that fuel cells have arrived,” he said. “What we’re seeing globally is a massive shift.

“In North America we’re maybe not seeing it quite as much, just because of the current political environment, but in Europe there’s a significant shift towards hydrogen fuel cells. In China there’s a huge shift going on. And Cummins is a very large diesel engine company with significant interests in China.”