Power Solutions, Toshiba Partner on “Dual-Battery” System

November 29, 2018 at 11:38 AM

Johnson Controls International plc’s Power Solutions unit, which is in the process of being sold, and Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corp. are partnering to produce low-voltage dual-battery systems.

The companies will produce Toshiba’s SCiB lithium units at Power Solutions’ Holland, Mich., facility. These batteries will be paired with Power Solutions’ lead-acid batteries in a 12-volt dual-battery system, which the companies say can provide some of the benefits of a 48-volt mild-hybrid system—such as regenerative braking—but with less complexity and at a lower cost.

A dual-battery system can boost fuel economy by as much as 8% over a stand-alone 12-volt lead-acid unit, according to the partners. They say the paired configuration requires minimal powertrain alterations, so it can be deployed across multiple vehicle lines with a lower investment than other electrified powertrains.

Production of Toshiba’s 12-volt SCiB lithium units at the Holland plant is due to start in 2020 for an unnamed carmaker. The facility also will continue to make Power Solutions’ own higher-voltage lithium-ion batteries.

The two companies also plan to collaborate on future programs that integrate Toshiba technologies. Toshiba’s SCiB (super charge ion battery) system uses a lithium-titanium anode, which is said to provide a larger effective capacity, faster charging and longer life than other lithium-ion chemistries.

Power Solutions makes lead-acid starter batteries under several brand names for original equipment and aftermarket applications. Earlier this month JCI inked a deal to sell the business to Toronto-based investment firm Brookfield Business Partners for $13.2 billion.