Johnson Controls and Saft Advanced Power Solutions LLC signed a deal with Azure Dyamics to supply them with lithium ion batteries to convert commercial vehicles to hybrid vehicles. 

Azure Dynamics is believed to be the world leader in converting commercial trucks, vans, and passenger vehicles to advanced hybrid vehicles.  Azure signed a 5 year agreement with battery supplier Johnson Controls and Saft in order to secure battery technology to convert 20,000 commercial vehicles into hybrid vehicles.

This announcement coincides with the announcement by AT&T stating that AT&T plans to purchase hybrid vehicles from Ford for commercial use.  Azure currently supplies modified Ford vehicles to AT&T, and Federal Express amongst other customers.

Johnson Controls will asemble the battery systems which are designed to fit into existing vehicles at its factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The battery system conatins all of the electricl components needed to convert existing vehicles to hyrbid powertrains.

This deal will make hybrid vans and trucks available for commercial use immediately while manufacturers such as Ford attempt to create production versions of hybrid vans and trucks in the near future.

Source:  Wardsauto