12 And 48 Volt Battery Combo Coming Under The Hood By 2020

While the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is first and foremost an automotive manufacturer show, some automotive suppliers also jump in the spotlight to showcase their innovations.

Such is the case with Johnson Controls, Inc., which will introduce at the show its 48-volt Micro Hybrid battery demonstration module as part of its full spectrum of advanced energy storage solutions for automobiles.

“Johnson Controls sees opportunities for the development of evolutionary energy storage systems that offer even more fuel efficiency than Start-Stop at less cost than a hybrid or electric vehicle,” said Alex Molinaroli, president, Johnson Controls Power Solutions. “Even as Start-Stop vehicles become part of the mainstream in Europe and start to take hold in the U.S., Micro Hybrid technology has the potential to deliver the next level of fuel efficiency along the spectrum of vehicle performance, reaching upwards of 15 to 20 percent in fuel economy.”

Leveraging a dual voltage architecture, Johnson Controls’ Micro Hybrid battery system would involve a low voltage lead-acid battery and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery that enable optimization of energy generation and consumption, thus saving fuel, says Johnson Control.

The company also says that in prospective development programs with key automaker partners, the 48-volt battery could support higher power loads such as electric air-conditioning, active chassis technologies and the capture of direct regenerative power energy braking. The 12-volt battery would continue to provide power to the vehicle starter, interior and exterior lights, and entertainment systems such as radios and DVD players.

“We expect this technology to be adopted in Europe first, due to more stringent fuel economy and emissions standards, and then quickly move to U.S. markets in the next few years with mass adoption by 2020,” said Molinaroli.

Johnson Controls works with many major manufacturers. The company will provide, for example, advanced Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) technology to power Ford Motor Company’s 2013 Fusion Auto Start-Stop vehicle.

Johnson Control did not reveal any details of how the technology works. Looks like we’ll have to wait next week, Jan. 14, to know more.