Electric Vehicles

Johnson Controls Renovates Battery Technology Center

August 07, 2011

MILWAUKEE, WI -- Johnson Controls Inc. on July 26 opened its newly renovated battery technology center and battery test facility at its Power Solutions headquarters in Glendale, Wis. 

"Our Battery Technology Center and Battery Test Facility will ensure that we not only have the best products on the road, but that Johnson Controls will be a forerunner in developing the next generation of energy storage solutions for energy efficient vehicles," said Alex Molinaroli, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions. 

More than 46,000 square feet of existing labs and office space were redesigned in the battery technology center (BTC) to support mass battery production. The renovation was supported in part by the $299 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act matching grant that Johnson Controls received in 2009. In addition to the expansion enabled by the stimulus matching grant, Johnson Controls also made significant R&D equipment and scientific investments, including new labs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Here, our engineers are testing, validating and readying for production the batteries that will go in the most energy-efficient vehicles that are on the road today," said Ray Shemanski, vice president and general manager for Johnson Controls Advanced Battery and CEO for Johnson Controls-Saft. "This includes a full technology range -- from advanced lead-acid batteries through Li-ion and alternate cell chemistries."

The newly renovated facility includes a CT scanner, x-ray diffractometer and dry room. The renovation marks the first time the facility has received a major overhaul since 1983.

"Technology advancements in the automotive industry to improve internal combustion engine fuel efficiency and emissions are driving demand for advanced batteries to support start-stop, hybrid and electric vehicle applications," said Mary Ann Wright, vice president for Power Solutions Technology and Innovation. 

The battery test facility, which was built in 2007, was also re-designed. Its size increased by 50 percent to 9,000 square feet, and equipment was installed for testing of advanced batteries in extreme conditions such as heat, cold and vibrations.

The ARRA grant and Johnson Controls' matching investment have so far created 60 jobs at the company's Power Solutions headquarters in Glendale, as well as 75 jobs in Holland, Mich., at the company's Johnson Controls-Saft Lithium-Ion manufacturing and pack assembly facility for hybrid and electric vehicle batteries. At full capacity, that facility will employ more than 320 people.

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