Joint venture to invest in European battery manufacture -

Joint venture to invest in European battery manufacture

LONDON — An investment of around $15 to 20 million is to be made for the production of lithium batteries at the first Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions (JCS) European HEV lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant.

JCS is a joint venture between Johnson Controls (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and Saft (Paris, France) which has a letter of intent is to supply lithium-ion (Li-Ion) hybrid vehicle batteries to a major vehicle manufacturer with volume production due for a late 2008 model year vehicle.

“Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions is pleased to have been selected for this program,” said Johnson Controls’ Vice President and General Manager of the company’s hybrid battery business, Alan Mumby, who also leads the JCS joint venture. “The JCS investment will enable capacity to be easily augmented, with minimal additional expenditures, as demand increases.”

Since the launch of the joint venture in January 2006, JCS has made tremendous progress in both the chemistry and manufacturing of lithium-ion hybrid batteries for HEV applications, as a result of the combined strengths of Johnson Controls and Saft.

Last month, the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), a consortium of the U. S. Council for Automotive Research – 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.

The focus is on accelerating Li-Ion technology development by improving battery power in low temperatures, and creating solutions that reduce battery system costs. This funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Energy through USABC as part of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership project validates the capabilities of JCS to enhance cell performance, systems development and cost reduction for lithium-ion technology that meets or exceeds automotive standards.

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