US battery giant Johnson Controls is doubling its North American absorbent glass matt production capacity to meet the needs of the stop-start vehicle industry.
The company is investing $245 million between 2016 and 2020 in the move, but it is not known whether the spending will be made in the existing Toledo, Ohio, plant or if a new plant will be built.
In total, Johnson Controls is set to spend more than $780 million on increasing its AGM manufacturing capacity.
“We are committed to investing in our factories, our employees and our customers, to ensure that we remain the leader when it comes to innovative technology, quality products and strong customer partnerships,” said Johnson Controls Power Solutions President Joe Walicki.
“Due to increasing power needs for vehicle accessories and safety functions, along with changing environmental standards, automotive batteries play an increasingly important role in today’s vehicles.”
The latest investment comes just weeks after the company announced it was going to build a fourth AGM plant in China to serve the OEM aftermarket.
The company also recently announced a two multi-year research project at the University of Wisconsin–Madison to focus on identifying the ageing mechanisms of AGM batteries and supporting systems in stop-start applications.
“Our customers face increasing demand for replacement batteries that provide superior power, reliability and performance for today’s vehicles,” said Dan Autey, vice president and general manager of US and Canada Aftermarket for Johnson Controls Power Solutions.
Johnson Controls claims 50% of cars built in North America in 2020 will have stop-start systems to counter increasingly stringent environmental regulations.