HomeGreen BusCummins Experience Enlightens STN EXPO Indy Attendees

Cummins Experience Enlightens STN EXPO Indy Attendees

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Attendees at STN EXPO Indianapolis said they are excited for Cummins to continue to be a staple brand in the industry amid the electric school bus evolution.

Attendees signed up for the Cummins Experience World Headquarters Tour and were bused from downtown Indianapolis to Columbus, Indiana to walk the company’s engine and battery plants on June 6.

Representatives of Accelera by Cummins, the brand for Cummins’ new power business segment, showcased two major systems. The first was the PowerDrive 7000, which is the company’s current EV powertrain system that is currently used for the Blue Bird Type C and Type D chassis.

PowerDrive 7000 Poster _ Accelera By Cummins _ Created for STN 6.9.2023

The company also showed the new Power Control & Accessory System (PCAS), the current model for HD trucks. However, the centralized configuration places the components in the same place where engines used to sit. The PCAS allows for all of the components to live under the hood as one unit, as opposed to being dispersed along the drivetrain.

Accelera is currently in the process of developing a more compact and streamlined version of the PCAS, which will be suitable for use in MD trucks and school buses.

PCAS Poster _ Accelera By Cummins _ Created for STN 6.9.2023

“I thought that being able to see what the process is from the very beginning, and all of the innovation that’s going into this project, really begins to put the big picture into perspective,”  said Kenni Jean Schrader, director of transportation for Three Rivers Community Schools in Michigan, during the tour. “We’ve been Cummins engine fans for quite some time. We know they produce a really reliable product, and it will be interesting to hear more about their new division Accelera and what the process is, and how they’re trying to take the other components and really maximize the units to be fitted in all sorts of chassis.

“It was exciting to see that an internal combustion engine manufacturer since 1919 is embracing the EV technology.”

Meanwhile, David Baxter, the director of transportation at Sheldon Independent School District in Texas, said the entire conference, in general, was extremely valuable. He said he never walked out of an STN EXPO session feeling like it was a waste of time.

“Every time I walked in, I walked in open-mined and walked out full of information that I know I can take back to my district. Some of it I can put to work right now, some of it helped with me the future planning that I know has to happen,” he said. “One of the things we seem to be really far behind in Texas is electric vehicles, and getting that conversation going, certainly in my district and my community. The information that’s been shared, the networking that’s happened here, has put me in a better position to go back and lead my department in a better, more efficient direction.”

He noted that while Cummins is proud of its diesel work, the company appears to be all in on the EV movement.

“Cummins is saying, ‘We’ve been your diesel guy for a long-time, we want to make sure we’re your electric folks for the future,” he observed. “So, we’re committing time and resources to make sure we can provide this product to you.’ I’m impressed by that, it sounds like Cummins wants to be around for another 100 years.”

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