U.S. Automakers Invest in Hybrid Battery Development
DETROIT --- U.S. automakers are investing in Johnson Controls Inc. to develop a more advanced hybrid battery for domestic vehicles by 2010, according to the Detroit Free Press. The new battery will be lighter and less expensive than existing hybrid batteries. Johnson Controls will compete against Panasonic Electric Vehicle Energy, which makes batteries for Toyota and boasts a 74-percent market share. Sanyo has a 13=percent market share and makes batteries for the Ford Escape and Honda Accord. An independent Panasonic battery operation makes hybrid batteries for the Honda Civic and has a 13-percent market share, the Detroit Free Press reported. A year ago, Johnson Controls formed a joint venture with Saft Advanced Power Solutions, based in Paris, to develop lithium-ion batteries. General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler and the U.S. Energy Department compose the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium, which awarded Johnson Controls and Saft a two-year contract Aug. 14 to develop lithium-ion batteries.