August 05. 2009 2:00AM - Last modified: March 14. 2012 12:29PM

Johnson Controls lands $299 million stimulus grant for hybrid battery production


Johnson Controls Inc. today announced it has been awarded a $299 million grant by the U.S. States Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to build domestic manufacturing capacity for advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.
The grant will have an impact on the company's headquarters in Glenadale, where the firm's battery research and development is located, according to Johnson Controls spokeswoman Rebecca Fitzgerald.
When asked by BizTimes Milwaukee this morning if the federal grant could result in more jobs being created in Glendale, Fitzgerald replied, "There is definitely potential for that. Yes, some of the funding will be directed at the battery technology center in Glendale." She said additional details of the impact in Wisconsin were not known at this time.
This award of economic stimulus funding accounts for about half of the Glendale-based company's total planned investment of $600 million in domestic advanced battery manufacturing capacity and infrastructure development.
"This investment is an important step toward creating and building an industry in the United States that addresses market requirements and long-term opportunities for growth and new jobs in this country," said Alex Molinaroli, president of Power Solutions for Johnson Controls. "We have assembled a world-class team of suppliers and automotive manufacturers, and we believe this comprehensive approach will enable the United States to establish a domestic industry that is competitive, economically viable and sustainable."
In April, Johnson Controls and its joint venture partner Saft announced that Johnson Controls-Saft was awarded incentives for $148.5 million from the State of Michigan for the establishment of a U.S. manufacturing facility for lithium-ion cells and complete hybrid battery systems in Holland, Mich. The Michigan facility will serve the company's global customers, including Ford, for its first plug-in hybrid vehicle for 2012, Azure Dynamics, for its 2010 launch of the next generation Balance Hybrid Electric commercial vehicle, Daimler AG and BMW.
Johnson Controls-Saft, a leading global manufacturer of hybrid battery systems, earlier this year launched production at the world's first automotive lithium-ion cell manufacturing and battery assembly facility in Nersac, France. It is supplying advanced battery technology for the Mercedes S-class hybrid, on sale now, and the BMW 7 series ActiveHybrid available in early 2010.
"Three years ago, Michigan set the goal of becoming the advanced battery capital of the world," said Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. "Thanks to our aggressive plan and great partners like Johnson Controls-Saft, we are well on our way. Today's announcement of funding for this critical endeavour means new jobs, economic development and opportunity for Michigan citizens."
Molinaroli added, "We are very pleased to be selected for this grant and thank the U.S. Department of Energy for its efforts to support advanced energy storage manufacturing and the creation of high quality jobs. This funding, combined with our own investments and the support we've already received from the State of Michigan, will help to make this strategic new industry a reality."
By converting an existing Johnson Controls facility, the company expects to have the Michigan plant in operation before the end of 2010.