HANOVER, Germany, /PRNewswire/ -- Automotive battery expert Johnson Controls-Saft was on Tuesday awarded 2nd place in the ÖkoGlobe awards in Category 6 "Supplier Innovation." The judges cited driving pleasure in electric mode for 130 km, a design life of more than ten years, and a special safety design. The award is an international environmental prize for the automotive industry and its suppliers.

This is the fourth time that it has evaluated solutions dealing with sustainable mobility in ten categories. The prize was initiated in 2007 by the performance artist HA Schult, and is awarded by DEVK insurance and the automobile club ACV in cooperation with the CAR Center Research Institute of the Gelsenkirchen University of Applied Sciences. The award ceremony took place on Tuesday in Cologne.

"This recognition illustrates our commitment to sustainable products that allows us to use less fuel, minimize CO2 emissions and protect the climate," said Stefan Suckow, Hybrid Sales Director at Johnson Controls-Saft.

Together with US upfitter Azure Dynamics Corporation, Ford will launch the Ford Transit Connect Electric, powered by Johnson Controls-Saft lithium-ion batteries.

The Ford Transit Connect Electric will be launched in the United States in late 2010. And the light commercial electric vehicle will also come on the road in Europe in 2011. The battery comes from Johnson Controls-Saft, a joint venture with more than 20 years' experience in the development of automotive lithium-ion batteries.

Engineers at the integration centers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Hannover, Germany have jointly developed and tested the battery system, which is being produced and assembled in Holland, MI.

The battery is under the floor of the vehicle and consists of 192 high-power 41 Ah cells. The 28 kWh battery system provides the Transit Connect energy to travel up to 130 km on a single charge. The battery system can be easily recharged overnight using traditional household power outlets.

The battery has been designed to deliver more than 3,000 charge/discharge cycles (equivalent to more than 300,000 km). A liquid cooling system keeps the cells at an operating temperature to ensure a 10 year design life.

To enable safe vehicle operation, the designers have provided redundant safety features from software control to the design of the cell. The battery management is connected to the safety management system of the vehicle. In the event of a vehicle accident, the battery is immediately switched off and isolated from the vehicle.