The Car Geek: Johnson Controls Open Li-ion Plant

The Car Geek

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Johnson Controls Open Li-ion Plant

The call for green vehicles is steadily increasing. Automakers are also responding to this call by manufacturing vehicles which use very little petroleum fuel or none at all. Toyota manufactured the Prius, a gas-electric hybrid which means that it is powered by a small internal combustion engine and sometimes supported by an electric motor which draws power from a nickel-metal hydride battery.

These batteries are being used because, well, it’s the only choice. But it will soon be phased out as lithium-ion batteries are starting to crop up. Li-ion batteries are favored by many over Ni-MH batteries as it weighs considerably less than the latter and stores more power. The only catch is that battery developers have not yet come up with a very good solution to make Li-ion batteries safe for automotive application.

That problem will soon be over though as Johnson Controls announced that they have opened the first Li-ion battery manufacturing facility in the world. That could only mean that the company has found a way to manufacture Li-ion batteries safe for vehicles. The Auto Channel reported that the said assembly facility will be manufacturing battery packs for "hybrid, plug-in, fuel cell and electric vehicles". I am sure that these battery packs will be as safe and reliable as Acura coil springs.

Mary Ann Wright, vice president and general manager for hybrid battery business for Johnson Controls, said: "This manufacturing facility demonstrates our ongoing commitment to hybrid technology. We are the first company to produce the batteries for the automotive industry and have recently announced a number of production and development contracts. We are confident that we will continue to be a global leader in the development and manufacture of advanced energy solutions for automotive batteries that make cars more energy efficient."