Start-Stop vehicle popularity grows in U.S.

Johnson Controls to extend capacity to meet demand for fuel-efficient battery technology by significant investment in Toledo plant

Aug 05, 2015, 09:00 ET from Johnson Controls

MILWAUKEE, Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson Controls is expanding the production of advanced batteries for Start-Stop vehicles amid growing demand for better fuel economy and more sustainable technologies. The company will increase its existing Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery capacity in its Toledo, Ohio plant, bringing the overall invested amount to $130 million since the start of production for this technology in the U.S. in 2012.

"Consumers want to drive vehicles further using less gas," says Petar Oklobdzija, vice president and general manager Original Equipment, Americas, Johnson Controls. "They want to buy vehicles with technology that is available today and is affordable. The solution is Start-Stop technology."

Tightening government fuel economy and carbon emission reduction targets put additional challenges on car makers from all around the world to replace conventional technologies with more efficient, advanced technologies.

"Most auto makers have already announced plans to have a majority of new vehicles equipped with Start-Stop or similar technology within the next three to five years," adds Oklobdzija. "Our battery supply contracts for the Ford F-150 and Chevy Malibu underscore this trend, which predicts about 9 million Start-Stop vehicles will be on the road in the U.S. by 2020."

Start-Stop enables up to 5 percent fuel economy savings over a conventional vehicle.  The technology automatically shuts off the engine when the car is idle and restarts it when the driver's foot leaves the brake pedal. During this time, the vehicle's electrical systems – from entertainment to lights – use energy from an advanced lead-acid battery rather than the gas-powered engine, thus saving fuel.

"AGM batteries are the best solution for Start-Stop vehicles because they enable the frequent charge-discharge cycles the vehicle requires. When the Toledo plant expansion finishes in 2016, our capacity will add to Johnson Controls global production capabilities in Europe and China," concludes Oklobdzija.

The global Start-Stop market for new vehicles could reach 53 million annually by 2020. The technology gained its popularity in Europe followed by the U.S. and China.

In addition to Start-Stop, Johnson Controls provides a full range of lead acid and Lithium-ion batteries to power nearly every type of vehicle including conventional, Micro Hybrid, hybrid and electric.

About Johnson Controls:

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 170,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and seating components and systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2015, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #14 company in its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. For additional information, please visit or follow us @johnsoncontrols on Twitter.

About Power Solutions:

Johnson Controls Power Solutions is the world's largest manufacturer of automotive batteries, supplying approximately 140 million every year to automakers and aftermarket retailers. The company's full range of lead-acid and Lithium-ion battery technology powers nearly every type of vehicle for our customers- including conventional, Start-Stop, Advanced Start-Stop, Micro Hybrid, hybrid and electric. Johnson Controls' recycling system has helped make automotive batteries the most recycled consumer product in the world. Globally, 15,000 employees develop, manufacture, distribute and recycle batteries at more than 50 locations. For more information, please visit or follow @JCI_BatteryBeat on Twitter.

Frantisek Sasek
Director Communications, Americas 

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SOURCE Johnson Controls