JCS's Mary Ann Wright Is Charged Up on Hybrid Batteries

Q&A interview with Mary Ann Wright who is now joint venture between Johnson Controls and SAFT to become a world leader in development of hybrid battery systems.

Published: 14-Nov-2007

MILWAUKEE -- Mary Ann Wright, the former chief engineer for the Ford Escape hybrid, is now leading Johnson Controls Inc.'s effort to become a world leader in development of hybrid battery systems.

Johnson Controls is the biggest seller of lead-acid batteries in the world, but all of the batteries used in hybrid vehicles on the road today were made in Japan.

In her new role, Wright has worked to integrate the technology being developed by France-based Saft with the auto-parts manufacturing experience of Johnson Controls. The joint venture now has three production contracts, with Mercedes, the Chinese automaker Chery and an unidentified automaker, as well as a dozen or more development contracts.


The Vue Green Line 2-mode Hybrid SUV will be powered by GM's 3.6L V-6 gas engine, with direct injection and variable valve timing, a nickel-metal hydride battery pack and two active cooled permanent magnet motors.

The vehicle utilizes a hybrid power train based on a 1500cc, 3-cylinder turbo charged diesel engine coupled with two high-efficiency permanent-magnet electric motors.

The driver of the Zytek dual-mode diesel hybrid can choose from standard or high regenerative braking and can also select one of three driving styles: Economy, Drive or Sport.


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