DETROIT, Mich. (WZZM) - Executives at auto supplier Johnson Controls say batteries will power more and more vehicles in the future and many of them will come from their new plant in Holland, MI.
"We are on track to begin cell manufacturing in Holland this summer," Johnson Controls Power Solutions president Alex Molinaroli told reporters at the North American International Auto Show.
To showcase their capabilities and their products, JCI engineers unveiled a prototype electric car at an auto show press preview in Detroit this week.
Their vision is a lightweight, high tech vehicle that runs on one of the advanced lithium ion batteries they plan to start producing in Holland this June.
"It's very exciting for us, for the community and certainly for our employees," says Molinaroli. "We have a strong base in Holland anyway and to be able to take advantage of all our capabilities and put our first advanced lithium battery plant in Holland is great for us. It makes a lot of sense and really has the opportunity to transform Holland."
Johnson controls is producing the lithium ion batteries with french partner Saft.
Ford has already committed to buy the batteries to install in electric and hybrid vehicles.
At full production the Holland plant could have 550 employees.
"There is a lot of skilled labor in Holland," says Molinaroli. "I think the future for Holland is outstanding."