Johnson Controls-Saft, a joint venture of Johnson Controls, Inc. and Saft Groupe SA, has received a contract from Ford Motor Company (Ford). As per the contract, Johnson Controls-Saft will supply the complete battery system for Ford’s first series production plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), which is to be launched in 2012. The five-year supply agreement consists of delivery of battery packs for planned production in 2012 with a target of five thousand units per year.

This is a great day for the automotive industry in America, said Alex Molinaroli, President Johnson Controls Power Solutions. Today, nearly all batteries for hybrid electric vehicles are manufactured offshore. As the United States works to build a manufacturing infrastructure and supply base for hybrid and electric vehicles, this contract signals significant progress for our industry here.

PHEVs can store more electrical energy than today’s hybrids, allowing the vehicle to operate on electric-only power more often and for longer distances, with an estimated fuel economy improvement of 60 percent to 100 percent. The battery will power the car on full electric for 40 miles and can be recharged through a standard 120 volt electrical outlet.

The battery is the critical piece of electrifying vehicles, says Nancy Gioia, director, Sustainable Mobility Technologies and hybrid vehicle programs, Ford. Johnson Controls-Saft is one of the leaders focused on creating lithium-ion batteries for a new generation of personal transportation.

The battery packs will be designed and manufactured by Johnson Controls-Saft. The packs, consisting of cells, mechanical, electrical, electronic and thermal components, will be assembled in the US. Primarily, the cells will be produced at the Johnson Controls-Saft production facility in Nersac, France. Johnson Controls-Saft will also use its 58,000 square-foot battery technology center in Milwaukee, the largest and most sophisticated automotive battery research and development facility in the US, including cell design, system engineering, testing and integration.

Mary Ann Wright, who leads the Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture and is vice president and general manager hybrid systems for Johnson Controls, reported the partnership between Ford and Johnson Controls-Saft validates that the US is positioned to be a leader in the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. Ford and Johnson Controls are two long-standing U.S. companies committed to re-building our domestic manufacturing base and to the ongoing investment in critical technology for the United States.

Johnson Controls-Saft is currently associated with Ford, as well as Southern California-Edison (SCE) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), on a 20-vehicle test fleet of PHEVs to demonstrate the potential of PHEVs as part of a complete vehicle, home and grid energy system. Data from this demonstration fleet will be utilized to support the PHEV production program.