US lead-acid firm Johnson Controls is set to open its fourth battery manufacturing plant in China to serve the OEM and aftermarket industry.
The facility is being built in Binzhou, Shandong Province, following a joint venture between Johnson Controls and Binzhou Bohai Piston Co., Ltd., an auto parts affiliate of Beijing Automotive Industry Group Co., Ltd.
At full capacity the $200million+ plant will be able to produce 7.5 million conventional flooded and absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries per year
Construction of the state-of-the-art facility is expected to begin in 2017, with production starting two years later.
It is predicted that by 2020 50%, around 15 million new vehicles will be equipped with start-stop functionality in China, which last year produced 23.5 million new vehicles.
“We understand China market dynamics, consumer demands and both short and long-term energy storage technology needs,” said Joe Walicki, president, Johnson Controls Power Solutions.
“This joint venture is a strategic move to position Johnson Controls and Bohai Piston to take advantage of what will be the world’s largest automotive battery market by 2020.”
Han Yonggui, BAIC Group director and chairman of Beijing Hainachuan Automotive Parts Co., Ltd. (BHAP), said: “In the China market there is strong demand for auto part technologies that can improve fuel efficiency and there will be rapid growth for AGM batteries in start-stop vehicles.”
In 2015, Johnson Controls announced it had signed an agreement to build a new battery manufacturing facility in Shenyang, China. This plant is expected to start operations in 2018.
The company also has battery plants in Chongqing and Changxing, and an energy storage research and development center in Shanghai.