Issue: Mar 2007


Johnson Controls Executive Promotes Hybrid Battery Technology at White House



by Rob white

A Johnson Controls executive met with President George W. Bush and administration officials at the White House today as part of a discussion about alternative fuel vehicles.

Alex Molinaroli, president of Johnson Controls' power solutions business, took part in the White House meeting, and said that the company is making significant progress on its development of advanced batteries for fuel- efficient, environmentally friendly hybrid vehicles.

"I was pleased to represent Johnson Controls today in these meetings with President Bush and Energy Secretary Bodman, and to lend support to the Administration's goal of reducing U.S. gasoline consumption," said Molinaroli. "Johnson Controls is working with the major automakers to develop a lithium- ion battery system for commercially-viable, mass-produced plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Our goals are to produce safe, long-life systems that will help enable people to buy affordable plug-in hybrids from a local car dealer."

Major advances in lithium-ion battery technology will enable global auto manufacturers to introduce a new generation of highly fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles in the near future, according to Molinaroli. He noted that engineers and scientists at the company's joint venture -- Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions (JCS) -- are gearing up to supply lithium-ion batteries for tomorrow's hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs).

In January 2007, JCS was awarded a development contract from General Motors to design and test lithium-ion batteries for use in the Saturn Vue Green Line plug-in hybrid sport-utility vehicle (SUV). The company also recently signed a letter-of-intent with a major automaker for the development of lithium-ion batteries for a hybrid vehicle application.

Molinaroli said Johnson Controls also appreciated the research and development support from the U.S. Department of Energy, and the United States Advanced Battery Consortium which is part of the United States Council on Automotive Research. He said that the company's prototype battery systems for plug-in applications currently are under evaluation at Argonne National Laboratory.

Johnson Controls recently showcased a wide array of its power-storage solutions, including the latest advances in lithium-ion technology, at the 2007 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan. The company's exhibit featured a display of a production-ready, lithium-ion vehicle battery system that was integrated into a prototype, hybrid-electric SUV.

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