|The JCS Li-ion pack for Azure Dynamics Balance hybrids. Click to enlarge.|
Johnson Controls-Saft (JCS) and Azure Dynamics Inc (AZD) have entered a five-year supply agreement under which JCS will provide a Li-ion battery pack and pack electronics to Azure Dynamics for use in its commercial vehicle hybrid systems.
The approximately 2.0 kWh, 345V battery system comprises 96 6.8Ah cells (the same cells being used in the JCS packs for the Mercedes-Benz and BMW hybrids), grouped in 12-cell modules. The pack is liquid-cooled.
The robust battery pack is designed to mount under the vehicle body and can withstand road debris and water spray and submersion. Azure will utilize the pack on its current Balance Hybrid Electric—which is based on the Ford E450 platform (earlier post)—and future hybrid platforms. The company’s vehicles are in operation for fleet customers such as AT&T, Con Edison, FedEx Express and Purolator Couriers.
The cell design was supported through Johnson Controls-Saft’s partnership with the United States Advanced Battery Consortium and the Department of Energy to develop advanced energy storage technology for electrified powertrain vehicles.
The complete battery systems, including electronics, electrical and mechanical components will be assembled at the Johnson Controls-Saft facility in Milwaukee, WI.
The supply agreement signals progress in the development of a US supply base to help build an infrastructure for the development and manufacture of hybrid electric vehicles, note Mary Ann Wright, who leads the Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture and is vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls hybrid business.
Azure is focused on HEV commercial delivery vehicles as well as HEV shuttle buses that run in urban settings. The new battery pack is designed to also be compatible for service upgrades to Azure’s existing vehicles.