Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) and Dodge have announced that a fleet of Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid delivery vans soon will be operating within the United States powered by Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.
The vans will be powered by Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries developed by Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions (JCS). The Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrids will be placed in multiple locations within the U.S., exposing the technology to different drive cycles and to aquire information that can be used to develop the next generation of Lithium-ion batteries.
"Advanced battery technology is the single most important enabler in making all types of electric vehicles practical," said Mary Ann Wright, who leads the JCS joint venture and is vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls' hybrid battery business. "Plug-in hybrids, conventional hybrids, electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will benefit from Lithium-ion technology. Johnson Controls-Saft is determined to deliver state-of-the-art batteries to power advanced, environmentally friendly vehicles,"
According to Wright, the Dodge Sprinter is an ideal vehicle to carry a large battery pack and still have ample room readily accessible for use as a delivery vehicle. Fleets of Sprinter plug-in hybrids were put into service in Los Angeles, New York and Kansas City in 2006 during the first phase of Chrysler and Daimler's plug-in hybrid development program. Powered by Johnson Controls-Saft nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and Li-ion battery packs, the Sprinter vans have provided valuable data to accelerate the development of future battery technology.