Johnson Controls Opens Li-Ion Battery Laboratory

September 28, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Johnson Controls Inc. (Milwaukee, WI) opened a lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery development laboratory focused on hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs). The facility, located at the company's battery technology center in Milwaukee, features a "dry room" and specialized tools and equipment for designing, developing, and testing power-storage and management systems based on Li-Ion technology. The facility cost $4 million.

The new laboratory is part of the company’s plan to create a global "centre of excellence" for Li-Ion battery development. Current research and development efforts on Li-Ion technology focus on cathode materials, new cell designs for better thermal management, modular designs that enable the integration of safety technologies, and cell balancing to ensure safe operation as well as extended performance and cycling.

Johnson Controls has supplied nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries for HEV applications in Europe for over a decade, and it believes Li-Ion technology is likely to replace NiMH in HEVs and EVs. At this time, most HEVs rely on NiMH batteries. Li-Ion batteries have significant potential for near-future HEV applications, because they have the capability of offering major advantages in power-generation, size, weight, cycle life, and cost.