Joint Center for Energy Storage Research

Johnson Controls named as industry partner of new battery and energy storage R&D hub

Johnson Controls, Inc., the world’s leading supplier of automotive batteries, is named as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) new Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) as an industry partner. The battery and energy storage hub, which will be led by Argonne National Laboratory, is part of a collaboration of public and private entities bringing together the most advanced energy storage research programs in the United States today.


World-leading researchers and entrepreneurs from DOE national laboratories, academia and industry, including Johnson Controls, will focus on rapid research, development and commercialization of revolutionary, clean electrochemical energy storage technologies for transportation and the nation’s electric grid. 


“Johnson Controls is at the forefront of providing fuel-efficient solutions for a wide spectrum of vehicles from internal combustion engines to Start-Stop, hybrid and electric vehicles,” said MaryAnn Wright, vice president for Technology and Innovation at Johnson Controls Power Solutions.  “As the world’s largest automotive battery supplier, we offer unique experience and capabilities to drive future energy developments in applied materials and system research, as well as best-in-class manufacturing.


Johnson Controls scientists will work on site at JCESR, which will be centered at Argonne, located outside of Chicago. Research will also take place at Johnson Controls’ global headquarters in Milwaukee and at the Universities of Wisconsin-Madison and Milwaukee, which have unique partnerships with the company. Work to help commercialize the team’s findings will also be done at Johnson Controls’ Li-ion manufacturing facility in Holland, Mich.



JCESR partners at national laboratories and universities aim to perform breakthrough basic research while working closely with JCESR's industrial partners to convert that new knowledge into market-ready, clean, energy storage technologies. The long-term goals are to improve the reliability and efficiency of the electrical grid, to integrate renewable energy into the nation's electrical system and to reduce dependence on foreign oil by improving batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.


“Our collective challenge is whether we make the right investments and decisions to domestically provide the advanced technologies and systems necessary for future vehicles,” said Wright. “This energy hub is a groundbreaking collaboration that I believe will lead to cutting-edge energy discoveries that will change the way we currently think about power and energy storage.”


The project has the goal of providing energy storage technologies that go beyond today’s best Li-ion systems to provide five times the energy storage at one-fifth the cost in five years.


JCESR  is funded with a $120 million investment from the DOE.


Selected through an open national competition with a rigorous merit review process that relied on outside expert reviewers, JCESR is the fourth Energy Innovation Hub established by the Energy Department since 2010. Each hub addresses a specific national energy challenge.


JCESR partners include:

  • DOE research centers – Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
  • Research universities – Northwestern University; University of Chicago; University of Illinois, Chicago; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan.
  • Industry – Johnson Controls, Applied Materials, Dow Chemical and Clean Energy Trust.