Johnson Controls supplies hybrid truck batteries for $45M DOE grant


Johnson Controls’ two lithium-ion battery packs — with white markings in the center — power a plug-in hybrid utility truck. Courtesy Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls, which makes lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles at its Holland plant, will provide the batteries for a U.S Department of Energy project involving large plug-in hybrid trucks.

About 120 work trucks — to be used by publicly owned utilities and municipal electric companies — will use advanced plug-in hybrid power systems by Waukesha, Wisc.-based Odyne Systems, using Johnson Controls’ lithium-ion batteries made in Holland.

Odyne, in conjunction with the Electric Power Research Institute and the South Coast Air Quality Management District of California, has been selected to participate in a $45 million DOE grant.

“Johnson Controls’ lithium-ion battery technology is helping large fleets reduce fuel consumption, operating costs and emissions,” said David DeGraaf, vice president and general manager, Americas Original Equipment Group, Johnson Controls Power Solutions.

Fuel economy

Depending on use, Odyne’s hybrid power system can enable large trucks to obtain fuel economy improvements of up to 50 percent compared to traditional diesel or gasoline engines.

Johnson Controls’ advanced manufacturing plant in Holland made history as the first in the U.S. to make lithium-ion cells and complete hybrid battery systems for automobiles.

"Committed" to industry

“Johnson Controls remains committed to building a domestic industry for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles,” said DeGraaf. “This supply contract is one more step toward accelerating commercialization of these advanced automotive power technologies.”

The Holland plant also produces battery packs for the electric Ford Transit light commercial van and for an 80 horsepower, all electric outboard boat motor made by Torqeedo, a German company.

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