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JCI develops 48-volt lithium-ion battery for European automakers

Supplier Johnson Controls Inc. is developing a 48-volt lithium-ion battery for European automakers.

The higher voltage is needed to handle a growing number of electrical systems that save fuel but need more volts, such as stop-start, electric power steering, regenerative brakes and other energy-efficient electrical systems.

Alex Molinaroli, president of JCI’s battery division, says an unnamed European automaker will introduce the higher voltage system as early as 2015. The vehicle to be produced will have two batteries: a conventional 12-volt lead-acid starter battery and a lithium-ion battery for the high-voltage hardware.

Molinaroli, speaking at the Detroit auto show, says his company has a development contract to produce the batteries. “It will happen, and it will happen first in Europe,” he said after a press conference here today at the show.
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