Johnson Controls International (JCI) is to expand manufacturing of its advanced glass mat batteries in Germany.
The US-based battery giant said the move was needed to meet a new contract for its Power Solutions division to supply AGM truck batteries to European original equipment production plants and aftermarket service centres for MAN Truck and Bus.
The move comes just weeks after JCI fuelled speculation it could be preparing to sell Power Solutions— essentially all of its lead-acid and lithium business— after saying it would “explore strategic alternatives” for the division over the next “several months”.
A JCI spokesperson told BBB the latest investment in “new AGM manufacturing capabilities” was being made at its plant in Hannover. However, details about the production capacity increase were not available at the time of going to press.
And in a further boost for the lead-acid tech sector, JCI said Power Solutions had also won a contract to supply AGM and flooded batteries under the Fleetrite brand to Navistar’s three North American original equipment production plants and to the aftermarket through its more than 700 truck and bus dealerships.
JCI said its batteries “are now the standard offering for Navistar’s original equipment ‘International’ models.
According to JCI, the global commercial truck battery market is expected to grow nearly 7% within three years— and the group forecasts around 95 million batteries will be needed.
Power Solutions group vice-president and general manger of original equipment, Petar Oklobdzija, said: “As fleet technology continues to advance and anti-idling environmental regulations expand, batteries will play a critical role in delivering a more comfortable, safe and efficient driving experience for the truck and bus industries.”
JCI, citing research by the US Argonne National Laboratory, said: “By addressing all facets of increased electrification while vehicle engines are off, Johnson Controls’ AGM batteries offer the same level of power to run important amenities without the fuel costs and emissions associated with idling. This could dramatically reduce up to one billion gallons of fuel consumed at a cost of around $3 billion and 11 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions currently generated from idling trucks in the US annually today.