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Sparking Jobs: Batteries Aid Fuel Efficiency, Economy

Sparking Jobs: Batteries Aid Fuel Efficiency, Economy

Johnson Controls completed a $138 million investment in its Holland, Ohio, facility to ramp up production—led by the skill and dedication of UAW members—of absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries. AGM batteries are essential to power fuel-saving Start-Stop technology, which allows a vehicle engine to turn off during idle times but allows other electrical components—such as lights and the stereo—to keep working. And when the driver releases the brake pedal or engages the clutch, the vehicle restarts. This technology is already found in 40 percent of new vehicles in Europe and is becoming more popular in North America. This technology is projected to improve fuel efficiency by 5% to 10%.

“We have a great workforce here,” says Dave DeGraaf, a vice president and general manager at Johnson Controls. “Right now, we have about 400 people and with the addition of new lines for our deep-cycling absorbent glass mat batteries coming in, we’ve been able to add 50 new people.”

In this video, UAW Local 12 members and Johnson Controls engineers and management talk about the batteries, explain Start-Stop technology and speak of the dignity and pride in contributing to the American economy.

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