Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Johnson Controls-Saft bags $8.2 milion contract

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) has awarded Johnson Controls-Saft a contract as part of its broad battery technology research and development programme.

The contract is valued at $8.2 million.

The contract will focus on the development of lithium-ion battery systems for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and over the course of two years will seek to validate the commercial feasibility of lithium-ion technology for mass market PHEVs.

USABC, whose members are Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation, awarded Johnson Controls-Saft a similar contract in 2006 focused on lithium-ion battery systems for hybrid electric vehicles. It is one of several technology development consortia of USCAR, the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC.

According to USCAR, lithium-ion technology has the potential to dramatically change the personal transportation landscape for consumers. It can support multiple powertrain technologies, from PHEVs to fuel cell vehicles.

For its part, Johnson Controls-Saft is currently working on development of the complete PHEV system.

The system includes high energy capacity cells, battery management electronics, control software and an efficient thermal management system, all optimally packaged for safety and efficient integration into the vehicle.

Mary Ann Wright, who leads the Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture and is vice president and general manager for Johnson Controls hybrid battery business, said that specifically, key goals for this PHEV contract are to optimise cell and battery system design for 10-mile and 40-mile electric range vehicles.

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