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JCI queers pitch for lead future with lithium SLI launch

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 11:22 -- Gerry Woolf
Johnson Controls and Toshiba team up

As lead pressure groups, including International Lead Association (ILA) and Eurobat, lobby for an extension of the usage of lead-acid battery technology beyond 2020 in Europe, one of the world’s largest lead-acid battery makers has unveiled a lithium-based starter system for start-stop vehicles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will be in production by 2018, the company says.

The lithium titanate battery, made in conjunction with Toshiba, will power advanced start-stop vehicles.

"Johnson Controls is pursuing opportunities to develop evolutionary low-voltage energy storage systems that will help our customers meet increasing fuel regulations at a lower cost than a hybrid or electric vehicle," said Lisa Bahash, group vice president and general manager Original Equipment, Johnson Controls Power Solutions. "In partnership with Toshiba, we are expanding our lithium-ion product offerings to support the needs of our global customers."

The lithium titanate chemistry is effective at quickly recharging, works well in a wide range of temperatures and can be easily integrated into a vehicle's 12-volt electrical system. Toshiba, with its SCiB technology, is the established market leader for lithium Titanate.

"Toshiba is pleased to work with Johnson Controls to supply SCiB cells for this application," said Shun Egusa, general manager of Toshiba's automotive business. "The opportunity to support global automakers with their goal of improving vehicle efficiency is an important part of our strategy and vision."

An Advanced Start-Stop system has two batteries. A 12V Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) or Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB), which will start the engine and supply power to accessories such as lights, navigation systems and radios. The 12V lithium titanate battery will primarily accept and store regenerative braking energy during vehicle deceleration, enabling greater power and load management capabilities.

However, the hybrid battery system as currently configured, paves the way for eventual elimination of lead-acid technology, perhaps substitution the lead acid component with a supercapacitor, experts told BEST magazine

"With an Advanced Start-Stop system, drivers could save up to 8 percent every time they fill up their gas tank as the batteries enable the engine to shut off more frequently and for longer periods of time," said Bahash. "This is also a great solution for our customers because the technology allows for greater fuel savings without major changes to the existing powertrain and electrical systems."

ILA Managing Director, Dr Andy Bush, said: “The announcement of this new type of 12V battery by JCI further demonstrates that alternative battery technologies require a lead-based battery to work alongside them in start-stop and mild hybrid electric vehicles. The essential nature of lead-based batteries was one of the points that was made to the EU Commission by the European, Japanese and Korean automotive associations, along with EUROBAT and ILA, in their submissions to the review of the End-of-Life-Vehicle (ELV) Directive calling for a further exemption for lead-based batteries within the wider ban on lead in light-duty vehicles.”

The 12V battery systems will be produced starting in 2018.

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Range Rover gets JCI lithium batteries

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 08:56 -- Laura Varriale
Johnson Controls lithium-ion battery

Johnson Controls Power Solutions has secured a contract for the supply of lithium-ion batteries to British Range Rover’s hybrid vehicle.

The lithium-ion battery pack has a capacity of 41Ah and comprises of 96 energy cells connected in series via 12-cell modular blocks.

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Johnson Controls expands in China

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 14:34 -- Laura Varriale
Kenneth Yeng (Johnson Controls), Qin Min (Fuling District government representative)

American automotive battery supplier Johnson Controls has opened a new battery manufacturing plant in Chongqing City, China.

The facility is expected to produce six million automotive batteries per year. Johnson Controls invested $154m in the plant with a size of 133,000m². "This facility will not only enable us to meet increasing demand from our customers in China, but will also allow us to demonstrate our global leadership in technology and sustainability”, said Kenneth Yeng, vice president and general manager of Johnson Control Power Solutions in China. The manufacturer will supply China’s rapidly growing demands with its battery technology and services.

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JCI expands in South America

Wed, 11/13/2013 - 17:14 -- Ruth Williams

Johnson Controls has acquired a 90% share of Colombian battery supplier MAC. JCI has been working with MAC since 2011 when they began a joint venture to produce and sell lead-acid batteries for the Central and South American markets.

Details of the financial terms have not been disclosed but will further strengthen JCI’s position in the continent. 

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US separators patent issued to Johnson Controls Autobatterie

Thu, 09/19/2013 - 09:12 -- Editor

The US Patent & Trademark Office issued Johnson Controls Autobatterie GmbH a patent for a set of separators for a lead-acid rechargeable battery on 17 September.

According to the abstract released by the US Patent & Trademark Office: "The invention relates to a method for converting a separator processing machine for processing separators for a lead accumulator, comprising the steps of ending a supply of a first separator having a first separator width to the separator processing machine and supplying a second separator having a second separator width that differs from the first separator width to the separator processing machine.

“According to the invention, the separators comprise a base film body extending along a center line and a plurality of primary ribs, which are raised above the base film body along the center line by a primary rib height and are disposed mirror-symmetrically with respect to the center line, wherein the primary ribs of the second separator with respect to the center line are disposed in the same locations as the primary ribs of the first separator."

Lithium-ion cell not battery pack costs will halve by 2020 – LG, Johnson Controls

Wed, 09/18/2013 - 09:32 -- Editor

Top executives at LG Chem and Johnson Controls said the cost of lithium-ion cells used in electric and hybrid vehicles are likely to be about half of today's price by 2020, but overall costs of packs are unlikely to fall by as much.

Speaking at The Battery Show in Novi, Michigan, they warned costs of lithium-ion battery management systems could remain high because of a lack of standardization among hybrid car manufacturers.

"We have an internal target to go down by at least a factor of two by 2020," said Prabhakar Patil, chief executive officer of LG Chem Power, a division of lithium-ion battery maker LG Chem. "I am very positive in terms of the slope that I see."

Brian Kesseler, the president of Johnson Controls’ Power Solutions said cell costs may indeed fall by half, but overall costs of battery packs, which include the control systems that surround the energy source, are unlikely to decline that quickly without standardization across auto makers, he told the Wall Street Journal.

"The real issue is the cost of the total system," he said. With each auto maker using a customized system to run its electric vehicles, it's unlikely to overall cost of an electric vehicle is likely to decline dramatically.

Argonne National Laboratory estimates that the average cost is about $500 for each kilowatt-hour of energy storage.

 

Johnson Controls unveils 48v lithium-ion micro-hybrid battery

Tue, 09/17/2013 - 12:48 -- Editor

Johnson Controls has unveiled its first-generation 48V lithium-ion micro-hybrid battery at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany.

Leveraging a dual voltage architecture, Johnson Controls’ micro-hybrid battery system combines a 12V starter battery and a 48V lithium-ion battery, which it claims could provide up to 15% fuel savings in vehicles. The battery will be available for testing with key automotive customers this December.

The 48V battery is designed with the capacity to quickly capture energy from braking and can support higher loads such as air-conditioning and active chassis technologies. The 12V battery provides power to the vehicle starter, interior and exterior lights, and entertainment systems such as radios and DVD players.

The prismatic lithium-ion cells and complete systems for the prototypes will be made at Johnson Controls’ facility in Holland, Michigan. The battery is designed with standardized components and size to help drive scale and minimize cost, it claims.

Ray Shemanski, vice president and general manager of the Original Equipment Group for Johnson Controls Power Solutions, said: “We expect Micro Hybrid technology will be adopted in Europe first, due to more stringent fuel economy and emissions standards, and then quickly move to U.S. markets in the next few years with global adoption starting in 2020.”

Growth for Johnson Controls

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 18:02 -- Ruth Williams

Johnson Controls Inc. has begun a new partnership with PolyPlus Battery Corporation, a California-based battery manufacturer, and also announced plans for a Chinese automotive battery plant. 

PolyPlus will receive US$8.99 million from the US Department of Energy to invest in manufacturing lithium-ion batteries over the next three years.

PolyPlus is developing batteries that are lighter store more energy than the lithium-ion batteries that Johnson Controls currently produces.

Johnson Controls also announced this week signing a deal in China for a facility producing batteries for stop-start vehicles. It will be the first of its kind the company has in China.

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