Fleet News

Johnson Controls invests £240m in start-stop battery production

Battery manufacturer Johnson Controls has begun a new £240 million investment programme to support aftermarket demand for VARTA Start-Stop and Start-Stop Plus replacement car batteries to fit all current applications.

The number of cars and LCVs produced across Europe featuring energy-saving Start-Stop technology is expected to grow to 70% of the total European market by 2015. Already the dominant supplier of Start-Stop batteries to European vehicle makers, with 80% of the OE market, Johnson Controls anticipates that more than 35 million batteries will be required to meet both OE and aftermarket Start-Stop vehicle demand within five years.

The company has been supplying AGM batteries for models using this advanced technology since 2005, following the launch of Start-Stop for early adopters such as the BMW 1 Series, and new investment will substantially increase production capacity at its Zwickau plant in Germany.

Johnson Controls aftermarket range features five specially developed models for each of the two types of Start-Stop technology, where conventional starter batteries would not be able to withstand the high demands of this system for very long. The basic model is the VARTA Start-Stop, which is based on EFB (Enhanced Flooded Battery) technology developed for vehicles with simple Start-Stop systems.

For more demanding requirements the VARTA Start-Stop Plus with AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) technology boasts even higher cyclic stability and charge acceptance – a key factor for more advanced Start-Stop systems with regenerative braking and alternator boost as well as the primary fuel-saving function.

“Our VARTA Start-Stop batteries enable car makers to conform with stringent CO2 emission requirements and are currently the technological benchmark, leading to significant reductions in fuel consumption of up to 12% and equivalent reductions in emissions,” says Jean-François Bouveyron, Vice President of Independent Aftermarket Sales at Johnson Controls.

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