Eaton Corporation has selected Compact Power Inc. (CPI), a wholly-owned US subsidiary of LG Chem, to provide batteries for certain future Eaton hybrid electric drive systems. The announcement was made today during a groundbreaking celebration at CPI’s new battery cell manufacturing facility in Holland that was attended by President Barack Obama and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.

On 13 July, Ford announced that it had also selected Compact Power as the supplier of lithium-ion battery packs for the 2011 Ford Focus Electric for the US market. (Earlier post.) CPI/LG Chem are also supplying the batteries for the Chevrolet Volt.

The demand for hybrid commercial vehicles will continue to grow globally, and LG Chem and CPI have made important advancements in battery technology and future production capability here in western Michigan. This technology is a key part of Eaton’s strategy to meet the future demand of our customers worldwide. Additionally, we’re proud to be a key player in helping to bring these new technologies and jobs to Michigan.

—Dimitri Kazarinoff, vice president and general manager for Eaton’s Hybrid Power Systems Division

In construction of the new manufacturing facility, CPI will utilize power management technology from Eaton, including electrical components designed for energy efficiency.

Eaton’s hybrid business is located at the company’s Vehicle Group headquarters in Charleston Township, Mich. near Kalamazoo. Engineering, development and testing of hybrid systems is also done at Eaton facilities in Marshall and Southfield, Michigan.

Eaton hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and two hybrid hydraulic power systems are available or in development on truck models including DAF, Freightliner, Ford, International, Iveco, Kenworth, Mercedes-Benz and Peterbilt and on bus models from BCI, Foton, Heng Tong, JNP, King Long, Shen Long, Solaris, Yutong and Zhongtong.

Eaton hybrid power systems have accumulated more than 50 million miles of road-tested service around the world and contributed to the saving of more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel and reducing more than 15,000 tons of harmful emissions.

Companies such as FedEx, UPS, Coca-Cola Enterprises, PepsiCo and Wal-Mart are using delivery vehicles with Eaton hybrid systems. Work trucks with Eaton hybrid power are also in service at Florida Power and Light and many utility and telecom companies across North America.

Benefits of the existing Eaton hybrid systems include fuel savings up to 35%, with similar percentages in emission reductions, extended brake life and idle time reductions of up to 87% during work site operations.