Johnson Controls-Saft Named as Battery Supplier for Ford Test Fleet of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, June 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As increasing numbers of consumers look for fuel-efficient, low emission vehicle options, a test fleet of Ford Escape plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) is making its way on the road today. Powered by lithium-ion batteries from Johnson Controls-Saft, the demonstration fleet will examine the future of PHEVs as part of a complete vehicle, home and grid energy system. The fleet is the result of an ongoing collaboration among Ford, Johnson Controls-Saft, Southern California Edison (SCE) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

"This fleet demonstrates a major step forward toward validating plug-in hybrid vehicle technology," said Mary Ann Wright, who leads the Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture and is vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls' hybrid battery business. "PHEVs, which have the ability to drive an extended range on electric-only power, can significantly reduce emissions and improve fuel economy."

The 20-vehicle fleet will be tested first in California by SCE and later by other utilities in the New York/ New Jersey area, to help determine regional differences in vehicle usage and performance, as well as how PHEVs will affect the electric grid system and associated infrastructure requirements. The first unit was delivered to California in December; additional units will be on the road in June.

The outcome of the fleet will help to continue to address barriers to commercialization including cost, technology validation, and strategies for charging the vehicles.

"PHEVs have great promise, but we are still working to fully address all of the technical and business challenges that stand in the way of commercialization," said Nancy Gioia, director of Sustainable Mobility Technologies at Ford. "Ultimately such vehicles must provide real value to consumers, utilities, automakers and suppliers."

PHEVs are part of a family of electric-drive technologies that could play an important role in achieving national objectives of energy security and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while also reducing fuel costs.

The research and analysis of the demonstration fleet will include data from four primary areas: battery technology, vehicle systems, customer usage, and grid infrastructure. The analysis will also explore possible stationary and secondary usages for advanced batteries. The combined expertise of the partners in this project - Ford, Johnson Controls-Saft, SCE and EPRI - is designed to advance a greater understanding of a vehicle, home and grid energy system.

Johnson Controls-Saft is a joint venture that has brought together Johnson Controls -- the world's leading supplier of automotive batteries and a company deeply experienced in integrated automotive systems solutions -- with Saft, an advanced energy storage solutions provider with extensive Li-ion battery expertise.

About Saft

Saft is a world specialist in the design and manufacture of high-tech batteries for industry. Saft batteries are used in high performance applications such as industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation, space and defense. Saft is the world's leading manufacturer of nickel-cadmium batteries for industrial applications and of primary lithium batteries for a wide range of end markets. The group is also the European leader for specialized advanced technologies for the defense and space industries. With approximately 3,900 employees worldwide, Saft is present in 18 countries. Its 15 manufacturing sites and extensive sales network enable the group to serve its customers worldwide. For more information, visit Saft at

About Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of 140,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. Our commitment to sustainability drives our environmental stewardship, good corporate citizenship in our workplaces and communities, and the products and services we provide to customers. For additional information, please visit

About Ford

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, United States, manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 230,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information about Ford's products, please visit


    Johnson Controls
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    Jill Ledger

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