Johnson Controls, which last month launched a new development lab to support its accelerated lithium-ion work (earlier post), has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saft to form a joint venture to develop, manufacture and sell NiMH and lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles globally.
The companies expect the joint venture agreement to be finalized in early 2006 and will commence joint sales and marketing activities immediately.
The new joint venture will provide global automakers with expanded sourcing options and production capacity for nickel metal hydride battery systems. Each company is also contributing complementary capabilities to the development and commercialization of next generation lithium ion battery systems.
The two companies will combine their development teams within existing locations and will invest in manufacturing facilities in line with demand.
The announcement came as Johnson presented its annual strategic review and outlook for 2006 in New York.
During that session, the company also announced it had received an order from a major European manufacturer for the development of hybrid batteries for their luxury vehicle line, which is expected to go on sale in 2009 in North America.
(A hat tip to David Thomas!)