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Johnson Controls and Saft Launch Hybrid and EV Battery Venture

A prototype Li-ion battery pack for an Escape-class hybrid. 50% of the weight, 50% of the footprint of NiMH.

Johnson Controls and Saft launched their new joint venture to supply advanced-technology batteries for current- and future-generation hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs)(earlier post) at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

JCS Advanced Power Solutions is, on an exclusive basis, involved worldwide in the development, production and sale of NiMH and Lithium-ion systems for HEVs and EVs. The company is also exploring the potential of battery systems for plug-in hybrids.

Johnson Controls and Saft are combining their development teams within existing locations, and plan to develop state-of-the-art manufacturing sites based on market demand. The companies are also combining their sales and marketing resources in order to address the growing market.

Together, we will accelerate our participation in the HEV market, and drive to develop, commercialize and supply innovative power-storage technologies for environmentally friendly vehicles. Saft’s proven expertise in high-performance, advanced battery technologies complements our great strengths at Johnson Controls, which include high-volume production capabilities and outstanding knowledge of the global car industry.

—Gregg Sherrill, group vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls

On display in Detroit was a concept hybrid SUV (a de-branded Escape) retrofitted with a prototype lithium-ion battery pack. The prototype weighs about 50% less than the NiMH battery system it replaces, and occupies about 50% of the footprint.

Currently, Johnson Controls estimates a 25% price overhead on the lithium-ion system, were it to be produced. Moving to large scale production would erode some of that cost delta, however.

Both Johnson Controls and Saft have done much work in lithium-ion battery development sponsored by the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC).



How about funding EVs instead of HEVs? When will automobile companies realize that there is a potentially large customer base for electric vehicles? I do not need a car with a range of more than 150 miles (at least 98% of the time)!


How about funding EVs instead of HEVs? When will automobile companies realize that there is a potentially large customer base for electric vehicles? I do not need a car with a range of more than 150 miles (at least 98% of the time)!


>> How about funding EVs instead of HEVs? <<

While I think there is a market for lower cost EV, there's two problems at the moment, the required battery is too expensive (hybrid batteries are $3k-$5k a piece and they're much too small for a full EV vehicle) and the punishing full up charge mostly full discharge cycle kills the batteries (so you get to buy another expensive battery after a couple of years). Current Hybrid's keep the battery packs between 40% - 80% capacity and they last forever doing that, won't work very well for EV's.

Once the battery life problem is solved (and hopefully cost) the real market will be plug-in hybrids that can go 50 miles or so on battery alone, but there will be a smaller market for a small city only EV - just that the plug-in market one would be much, much bigger.


Well, I recall the EV1, Electric S10, Electric Ford Ranger, and Electric RAV4 being marketed almost 10 years ago. These vehicles, despite their removal from the market, were certainly on the right track technologically and had a significant market.
10 years later and there are not any improvements?


>>Current Hybrid's keep the battery packs between 40% - 80% capacity and they last forever doing that<<

How about we do it in this way?

Battery pack range up to 50 miles, and plugin enabled. (smaller battery pack then pure EV thus cheaper)

When battery lower then 40%, on board power generator take over as the power source as well as charge up the battery. The power generator can be a 10hp small engine. (extend range and allow battery to last longer)

Solar roof top is a plus.

When talk about fuel, we can use renewable biofuel: biodiesel, ethanol, or biogas. This thing should burn much less fuel then thirsty fuel monster.

Any big motors look into this method?

Harvey D

rexis... have a look at the French car industry and you will find a similar approach. They call it a 'predominant electric hybrid' and it has a very small genset to extend the range on EV mode while keeping the battery pack size down. It makes a lot of sense and should be relatively cheaper to produce depending once again on the cost and performance of batteries used. Mass procuction of batteries and components in a country where labor is cheap could reduce cost enough to compete with ICE monsters withing a few years.


rexis - You got it!

I've been saying the same thing for years. Automotive engineers/CEOs are so smart that they already know everything - so they are not about to listen to you or me.

Did you know there is a two-cycle, diesel generator with only *ONE* moving part and the inventor can't get anyone to even look at it, much less build one.


No i didnt know, what use if i really do, it is not something that i can buy a DIY kit from IKAE. Anyway, what keyword should i google...

Even though the engineers having such idea in mind, their CEO mostly thinking in terms of market and resources.

"Ok dudes, I want you guys to design a new generation of vehicle. It must have solar roof, regenerative braking, and you must use our own V8 engine and 7 speed transmission so that we have more ways to use up those stock."


ahh, found this

Luther Browning

Altairnano has a battery system that works now. 5 - 10 min charge, long life, 1,000,000 miles +. It's still expensive but maybe volume production will bring the price down. Electric cars do not need the massive infrastructure changes that Hydrogen would require and is many times more efficient in dollars, energy, space, and weight.
A company called EESTORE has a capacitor pack that looks promising but they are so secretive it makes me leery of their claims.
These new electrical storage devices bring the promise of load balancing to the nations power grid which would make solar and wind power available 24 - 7.

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