Johnson Controls partnering with Toshiba on battery technology

Companies working on dual-battery systems

Johnson Controls Power Solutions will partner with Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corp. to deliver low-voltage lithium-ion battery solutions to meet automaker demands, the companies announced Tuesday.

The two signed an agreement that calls for developing and manufacturing lithium-ion batteries at JCI’s Holland, Michigan plant that can pair with existing lead-acid battery technology as part of dual-battery systems.

“Low-voltage dual-battery technology is the next step in the evolution of vehicle systems that helps to strike a balance between consumer demands, increasing regulations and automaker economics,” said Brian Cooke, Johnson Controls Power Solutions group vice president for products. “Combining Johnson Controls’ partnerships and battery system capabilities with Toshiba’s lithium-ion cell expertise provides automakers with a compelling, competitive product for vehicles of today and tomorrow.”

Dual-battery systems are expected to account for around 20 percent of new vehicles built globally by 2025, according IHS, Markit research. The systems require minimal powertrain changes, allowing automakers to incorporate them with a lower investment than other electrified power trains. The systems also deliver improved fuel efficiency over conventional systems, according to Johnson Controls.

“We are happy to team with Johnson Controls to advance the potential and application of low-voltage battery systems, and to use our lithium-ion technology to realize an eco-friendlier world,” said Fujio Takahashi, Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation general manager. “Our SCiB is distinguished by its excellent characteristics and the use of a lithium-titanium anode to deliver safety, a long life, low-temperature performance, rapid charging, high input and output power, and a large effective capacity. It is also a good match with lead-acid batteries, and we are sure our joint work with Johnson Controls will greatly benefit automakers around the globe facing efficiency challenges.”

The two companies are also planning to collaborate on future technology development. Johnson Controls International is in the process of selling its Power Solutions business to Brookfield Business Partners as part of a $13.4 billion deal.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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