Global supplier forecasts increased car battery demand from new Chinese rules

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Johnson Controls Inc. has announced it would expand the production of automobile batteries in China for use in certain energy-saving systems as automakers will need to comply with stricter Chinese fuel-efficiency standards. Ray Shemanski, a Johnson Controls vice president overseeing aftermarket and power products says the forecasts point out to around 40 percent of all new vehicles sold in China to have fitted “start-stop” systems by the turn of the decade, because from 2020 the Chinese authorities will impose new, lower fuel consumption levels. Only around 5 percent of today’s delivery tally has the feature installed, designed to lower the fuel consumption by up to 8 percent – the car’s electrical systems draw energy from a battery instead from the engine, allowing it to be turned off while the vehicle is idle – at a stop light, for example. China has mandated the automakers to drop the average fuel consumption of their model ranges to 5 liters per 100 kilometers by 2020 – from today’s figure of 6.9 liters/100 km. Automakers are now embracing alternative technologies – such as electric and plug in hybrid cars – but also resort to fuel-saving features such as the “start-stop” system. “It is a very simple first step that you could benefit from in terms of fuel economy and CO2 emissions,” commented the executive in Beijing. According to analysts, automakers are adding such technologies not only in China, but also around the world to cope with the increasingly tougher carbon emission and fuel efficiency limits developed worldwide – the number of models equipped with start/stop functions could double by the end of the current decade, reaching about half of the passenger car fleet sold each year globally. Via Bloomberg