The venture involves Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc., the largest maker of automotive batteries, and France’s Saft Groupe SA.
Keith Naughton – Bloomberg
– Feb. 3, 2009
Where do I put in an order? --Ed.
Ford Motor Co., accelerating its electric-vehicle strategy, selected Johnson Controls-Saft, a U.S.-French joint-venture, to supply batteries for a plug-in hybrid auto coming in 2012.
Johnson Controls-Saft, which makes batteries for Mercedes- Benz and BMW hybrids, will provide lithium-ion battery systems for a car that can get as much 120 miles per gallon of fuel, Ford said in a statement. The car will have an electric range of 30 miles (48 kilometers) before a gasoline engine takes over.
Battery contracts for electric vehicles are among the few growth areas in the slumping U.S. auto industry. Making plug-in hybrids affordable is the greatest challenge; General Motors Corp. has said its electric Chevrolet Volt may cost $40,000.
“This 10-kilowatt battery is five times the size of the battery in the Escape hybrid” sport-utility vehicle and five times the cost, Ford’s hybrid vehicle director, Nancy Gioia, said in an interview. The battery expense will limit sales of the new auto to 5,000 units a year, she said.
Johnson Controls-Saft, run by former Ford hybrid engineer Mary Ann Wright, signed a five-year deal on the Ford plug-in. It also is bidding on a contract to provide batteries for... [Read More]