|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).