Cummins sets up shop for Hydrogen PEM Fuel Cell R&D Facility

Dec. 2, 2021
Cummins is investing in two types of hydrogen fuel cells: proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs)

By Rod Walton, EnergyTech Senior Editor

On-site power manufacturer Cummins Inc. has opened a new hydrogen-based research and development center in northern California.

The U.S. engine and gen-set maker plans for the 18,000-square-foot site in West Sacramento to foster innovation in H2 development and fuel-cell integration and powertrain development. Cummins is investing in two types of hydrogen fuel cells: proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs).

At the Cummins’ Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powertrain Integration Center, the focus will be on PEM fuel cells, considered a viable solution for high-power transportation such as heavy-duty, long-haul trucks. Cummins’ presence makes it the largest tenant at the California Fuel Cell Partnership facility which includes other alternative power companies.

“We’re investing heavily in alternative power solutions, particularly hydrogen fuel cells, batteries and electric drivetrains,” said Amy Adams, vice president of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies at Cummins. “We have unique expertise and talent to bring these together and put trucks in our customers’ hands today.”

Cummins is accelerating its already large stake in future H2-fueled transportation development. The company has deployed more than 2,000 fuel cells, 600 electrolyzers and 400 battery-electric power trains globally.

It powers the PEM electrolysis plant for the Douglas County Public Utility District in Washington state.

Only a few days ago, Cummins announced its commitment to battery technology by entering into an agreement with rechargeable battery developer Sion Power Corp. Cummins took a minority stake in Sio Power and will help fund development of its lithium metal technology for commercial vehicles.


(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can reached at [email protected]).

About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.