JULY 2008

Ford test fleet of hybrid vehicles to use Johnson Controls-Saft batteries

A test fleet of Ford Escape plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) is being powered by lithium-ion batteries from Johnson Controls-Saft. The demonstration fleet will examine the future of PHEVs as part of a complete vehicle, home and grid energy system. The fleet is the result of an ongoing collaboration among Ford, Johnson Controls-Saft, Southern California Edison (SCE) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

“This fleet demonstrates a major step forward toward validating plug-in hybrid vehicle technology,” said Mary Ann Wright, who leads the Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture and is vice president and general manager of Johnson Controls’ hybrid battery business. “PHEVs, which have the ability to drive an extended range on electric-only power, can significantly reduce emissions and improve fuel economy.”

The 20-vehicle fleet will be tested first in California by SCE and later by other utilities in the New York, New Jersey area, to help determine regional differences in vehicle usage and performance, as well as how PHEVs will affect the electric grid system and associated infrastructure requirements. The first unit was delivered to California in December; additional units will be on the road in June.

The outcome of the fleet will help to continue to address barriers to commercialization including cost, technology validation, and strategies for charging the vehicles.

The research and analysis of the demonstration fleet will include data from four primary areas: battery technology, vehicle systems, customer usage, and grid infrastructure.

The analysis will also explore possible stationary and secondary usages for advanced batteries.