Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries developed by Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions will power a test fleet of advanced, Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrid delivery vans.
"Advances in Lithium-ion battery technology are bringing the reality of plug-in hybrids closer to commercialization," said Mary Ann Wright, who leads the JCS joint venture and is vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls' hybrid battery business. She said the 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 2006. 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.
The Li-ion battery packs in Sprinter plug-in hybrids will be 47% lighter compared to previous NiMH systems and deliver more power than today's conventional hybrid batteries.
"Advanced battery technology is the single most important enabler in making all types of electric vehicles practical," said Wright. "The Dodge Sprinter plug-in hybrids will be placed in multiple locations within the United States," Wright added. "The technology will be exposed to different drive cycles yielding information to develop the next generation of Lithium-ion batteries."