Johnson Controls Power Solutions has sold off its automotive battery business to Brookfield Business Partners for $13.2 billion. That includes its more than 16,000 employees across 56 locations around the world. Brookfield Business Partners is rebranding the business unit as Clarios.
Today, the newly rebranded Clarios produces more than one third of the low voltage batteries in the entire automotive industry, and it seeks to build on that leading position moving forward.
Don’t read too far into Clarios’ leading market share in automotive batteries and assume that the division is a big dog on the block when it comes to electric vehicles, because it isn’t, yet. Today, Clarios produces more than half of advanced absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries in the world, according to the Journal Sentinel.
“At Clarios our vision is to power progress by creating the world’s smartest energy storage solutions that benefit people, business, and the planet,” said president of Clarios, Joe Walicki. “As a global leader with a product used in virtually every vehicle from conventional to fully electric, we are well positioned to capitalize on market trends, including a move toward more electrified and autonomous vehicles which are elevating the critical role of the battery and accelerating the need for more advanced batteries.”
Clarios’ established relationships with automotive manufacturers and its decades of expertise in developing energy storage solutions are significant advantages in an era of startups that burn bright but may fizzle out literally overnight. Splitting off as its own company allows Clarios the freedom to more aggressively pursue solutions for the automotive energy storage industry of today and tomorrow.
The company has built a name for itself by designing batteries that allow for high durability and high end-of-life recyclability, with a large percentage of the materials in their batteries able to be recovered and reused in its new batteries.
Is there a future for lead-acid and AGM batteries in an automotive world dominated by high voltage, lithium-based chemistries? Time will tell how this story plays out, but one thing is for sure: batteries play an increasingly critical role in the automotive world moving forward.
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