Ford Chooses Battery Supplier for PHEV

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) yesterday announced that Johnson Controls-Saft will supply the complete battery system for Ford’s first series production plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) to be introduced in 2012.

The annoncement was made at the Washington Auto Show.

The battery packs are to be designed and manufactured by Johnson
Controls-Saft. The packs, including cells, mechanical, electrical,
electronic and thermal components, will be assembled in the United
States. Initially, the cells will be produced at the Johnson
Controls-Saft production facility in Nersac, France.

Controls-Saft will also utilize its 58,000 square-foot Battery
Technology Center in Milwaukee, the largest automotive battery research and development facility in the United
States, including cell design, system engineering, testing and

The five-year supply agreement includes delivery of battery packs for
committed production in 2012 with a target of five thousand units per
year, with the potential to ramp up to meet customer demand.

"This is a great day for the automotive industry in America," said Alex Molinaroli, President Johnson Controls Power Solutions. "Today, nearly all batteries for hybrid electric vehicles are manufactured offshore. As the United States works to build a manufacturing infrastructure and supply base for hybrid and electric vehicles, this contract signals significant progress for our industry here."

Ford said it’s PHEV will be capable of running on battery only for 40 miles and will be rechargeable through a standard 120 volt electrical outlet.

PHEVs can store more electrical energy than today’s hybrids, allowing the vehicle to operate on electric-only power more often and for longer distances, with an estimated fuel economy improvement of 60% to 100%

Johnson Controls-Saft is presently partnering with Ford, as well as Southern California-Edison (SCE) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), on a 20-vehicle test fleet of PHEVs to demonstrate the capability of PHEVs as part of a complete vehicle, home and grid energy system. Data from this demonstration fleet will be used to support the PHEV production program.

Johnson Controls-Saft is a joint venture that has brought together Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI)–a leading supplier of automotive batteries–with Saft (SAFT.PA), an advanced energy storage solutions provider with extensive Li-ion battery expertise.

In October 2008 Johnson Controls-Saft announced a deal to provide lithium-ion batteries for BMW’s 7 Series ActiveHybrid car.

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