Varta Prepares for Growth in Electric Vehicles
In anticipation of future growing demand for electric and hybrid vehicles, Varta’s parent company JCI and French battery manufacturer SAFT have embarked on a joint venture, setting up an Advanced Power Solutions development centre at the HQ of Varta Batteries in Germany. The aim of the enterprise is to bring viable solutions for future hybrid vehicle development to market within the next year.
Varta has been in the forefront of electric vehicle development for some time, with fleets of electric city buses running since the mid-1990s. With public opinion moving towards reduced carbon emissions through energy-saving transport, Varta sees a bright future for its advanced battery technologies.
The company already supplies AGM (absorbent glass mat) technology batteries as OE on the latest cars with stop-start technology and reckons that AGM technology will continue to play a dominant role in the future.
Most hybrid vehicles that can power themselves electrically as well as through a motor use NimH (nickel metal hydride) batteries, while Li ION (lithium ion) battery technology is expected to become the preferred hybrid battery option in the future. This technology, says Varta, offers major advantages in power generation, size, weight, cycle life and cost, all of which point to increased demand in the premium car segment in the future.
The joint venture will develop, manufacture and sell both NimH and Li ION batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles on a global basis. Joint sales and marketing activities have already begun.