Battery Plant Signals Tipping Point for Electric Cars

The $22m (Euro15m) factory will initially produce 5,000 battery packs a year but be able to scale up if demand increases.

Published: 31-Jan-2008

Johnson Controls and Saft are opening a factory to produce advanced lithium-ion batteries for cars in a sign that electric and next-generation hybrid vehicles are reaching an industrial tipping point.

The Milwaukee-based supplier group and French battery producer will on Thursday announce the opening of the factory, based in Nersac, France, to supply carmakers including General Motors, Chrysler and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz cars division.

The plant is thought to be the first dedicated exclusively to production of lithium-ion batteries for cars. The €15m ($22m) factory will initially produce 5,000 battery packs a year but be able to scale up if demand increases.

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