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Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions Provides Enhanced Batteries for Hybrid Vehicles

Major advances in lithium-ion battery technology will enable global automakers to introduce a new generation of highly fuel-efficient, "environmentally friendly" vehicles in the near future, according to officials at Johnson Controls. Engineers and scientists at the company's joint venture - Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions (JCS) - are gearing up to supply lithium-ion batteries for tomorrow's hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs).

Last week, JCS was awarded an advanced battery development contract by General Motors to design and test lithium-ion batteries for use in the Saturn Vue Green Line plug-in hybrid SUV.

Since the launch of the JCS joint venture in January 2006, the company has made significant progress in the drive to position lithium-ion technology as the power-storage solution of choice for future, energy-efficient cars, trucks and vans.

"HEVs and PHEVs that leverage the benefits of lithium-ion battery technology represent the next step forward in developing sustainable transportation solutions for the global economy," said Alan Mumby, who leads the JCS joint venture and also serves as vice president and general manager of the Johnson Controls hybrid battery business. "We are thrilled to be a key player in enabling tomorrow's 'green' technologies."

According to Mumby, lithium-ion battery technology will become the technology of choice over nickel-metal-hydride, because it offers significant advantages in packaging, energy storage and energy-delivery performance.

Johnson Controls is showcasing a wide array of its power-storage solutions, including the latest advances in lithium-ion technology, at the 2007 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The company's exhibit, in room D2-15 at Cobo Center, features a display of a production-ready, lithium-ion vehicle battery system. It's integrated into a prototype, hybrid-electric SUV.

At the NAIAS event, officials from Johnson Controls also will provide details and insights about the company's recent successes in lithium-ion battery development, including:
  • The September 2006 signing of a letter-of-intent with a major automaker, focusing on the supply of lithium-ion batteries, which represents one of the industry's first lithium development orders. Under the agreement, JCS will develop lithium-ion batteries for evaluation, with production anticipated for the future.
  • The August 2006 contract award to JCS - by the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) - supports continued development efforts on lithium-ion technology for automotive applications. This funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy through the USABC as part of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership project. The 24-month contract enables JCS to continue its in-depth research on cell performance, systems development, and cost containment surrounding lithium-ion technology. USABC is a consortium of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), an organization comprised of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation.
  • Ongoing research and development work being done at the JCS lithium-ion battery-development laboratory in Milwaukee. The facility is the only one of its kind in the world devoted exclusively to lithium-ion battery development for hybrid vehicles.

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