The Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions (JCS) joint venture has signed a letter of intent with a major vehicle manufacturer to supply lithium-ion hybrid vehicle batteries. The LOI is for the development phase, which is expected to lead to volume production for a late 2008 model year vehicle.
JCS will invest $15-$20 million for the production of the lithium batteries. This will be the first JCS European HEV lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant.
Last month, the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), a consortium of the US Council for Automotive Research&mash;an umbrella organization for collaborative research among DaimlerChrysler Corp., Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp.—awarded the JCS joint venture a 24-month contract to continue its development work for advanced, Li-Ion batteries for HEVs. (Earlier post.)
The focus of that project is on accelerating Li-Ion technology development by improving battery power in low temperatures, and creating solutions that reduce battery system costs.
JCS says that it has made tremendous progress in both the chemistry and manufacturing of lithium-ion hybrid batteries for HEV applications since the launch of the joint venture in January 2006, due to the combined strengths of both parents.