PARTNERS IN PROGRESS: JOHNSON CONTROLS-SAFT
DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2009 – Johnson Controls-Saft is partnering with Ford Motor Company to provide lithium ion batteries to a demonstration fleet of Ford Escape plug-in hybrid vehicles. The fleet is part of an ongoing collaboration among Ford, Johnson-Controls-Saft, Southern California Edison and the Electric Power Research Institute, designed to promote the commercialization of electric vehicles.
Who: Johnson Controls-Saft is a joint venture that has brought together Johnson Controls – the world’s leading supplier of automotive batteries and a company deeply experienced in integrated automotive systems solutions – with Saft, an advanced energy storage solutions provider with extensive lithium ion battery expertise.
What: The combined expertise of the partners in this project is designed to advance a greater understanding of a vehicle, its battery powered technology and the home and electric energy grid system. Research and analysis of the demonstration fleet will include data from battery, technology, vehicle systems, customer usage and grid infrastructure. “One of the things that is so exciting about this is that it’s transformative technology,” said Mary Ann Wright, who leads the Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture and is vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls’ hybrid battery business. “Not just for the vehicle, but for the battery, as well. We’re changing from nickel metal hydride to lithium ion, which offers us so much more opportunities.”
Where and When: The pioneering collaboration began in 2007 with the the first unit of a 20-vehicle fleet delivered that year for testing in California by Southern California Edison. Other units in the fleet will be tested later by other utilities around the country to help determine regional differences in vehicle usage and performance, as well as how PHEVs will affect the electric grid system and associated infrastructure requirements.
Why: The collaboration will provide all of the partners an expansive database of information about the new technologies used in the vehicle, and the diverse ways in which the vehicles may be utilized. “This will give us so much first-hand information, and not all that information will be strictly technical,” Wright said. “How will people feel about driving an electric car? What are the driving trends? Will it be used as a primary vehicle, or one they’ll just use to drive short distances to do errands? This is all part of that bigger picture.” The research translates into progress and success, Wright said, not only for Johnson Controls-Saft, but for the country. “We want to do business with Ford,” she said. “We want to build new industry and see the U.S. solidify its technology leadership position.”
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 224,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.