BMW Lithium-ion Hybrids are Alive and Well

Johnson Controls-Saft (JCS) will be providing lithium-ion batteries for the mass produced versions of BMW’s 7 Series ActiveHybrid car, which is currently being showcased at the Paris motor show. The ActiveHybrid car sports a mild hybrid configuration, so it's not exactly a Prius-fighter in a fullsize luxury sedan shape, but it can hold its own against a Lexus LS600h though.

The lithium-ion cells and modules will be manufactured at the Johnson Controls-Saft production plant in Nersac, France. The facility, which is also the world’s first production plant making lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles, opened in January this year and can be upgraded to expand production as demand increases.

“Johnson Controls-Saft is delighted to announce this contract with BMW for our lithium-ion technology. This contract consolidates our leading position in lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles,” said Mary Ann Wright, vice-president and general manager of Johnson Controls' hybrid battery operations and who is also leading the joint venture between the two companies.

We should note that Johnson Controls-Saft is also a joint venture that has brought together Johnson Controls - the world’s leading supplier of automotive batteries - with Saft, which is a world leader in high technology batteries with extensive Li-ion battery expertise. In other words, the contract depicted in today's news almost became a “tri-venture.”

Officials from the company also said that the agreement with BMW is the second lithium-ion production contract for Johnson Controls-Saft, though without mentioning who beat BMW to it (another German premium car brand does come to mind, doesn't it?).

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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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