At the Automechanika 2018 in Frankfurt, Johnson Controls presents a Europe-wide premiere thatunderlines its strong sense for industry needs. The launch of Europe’s first truck AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery under the VARTA brand marks the next step in minimizing the operational cost of trucks and increasing the comfort for drivers. In addition, Johnson Controls introduces a new service concept that supports workshops in their journey to find, test, sell and fit a battery, from technical trainingto detailed fitment instructions. A key element of this concept is the now-enhanced VARTA Partner Portal.

Empowering logistics: Europe’s first truck AGM battery 

A high demand for nonstop transportation service requires trucks to be on the road every day. This change in long-haul trucking makes improved cabin infrastructure indispensable to enhance the qualityof work and life on the road. One feature to make pausing more comfortable is a parking cooler. Many original equipment manufacturers offer therefore trucks equipped with an integrated parking cooler and many fleet managers retrofit existing trucks with a parking cooler to offer better working conditions. In addition, new regulations on higher emission standards put additional pressure on fleets to achieve an eco-friendlier footprint. The VARTA Promotive AGM battery increases the battery cycling capabilities by six times compared to conventional battery solutions, and provides the ability to operate at levels of discharge close to 80 percent. “The VARTA Promotive AGM battery allows fleet managers to minimize total cost of ownership by avoiding vehicle downtime and maximizing profitability”, explains Guido Schneider, vice president Sales Europe, Johnson Controls Power Solutions. It also guarantees hoteling while the engine is turned off, which creates more comfortable work conditions for truck drivers. “The VARTA Promotive AGM provides confidence that drivers will not have any difficulties getting back on the road”, explains Schneider.

New service concept with VARTA Partner Portal 

The increasing electrical demands are trends that not only have an impact on trucks, but are also having an impact on passenger vehicles and the way they need to be serviced. Today, one out of three vehicles are equipped with start-stop technology. This development has changed the requirements for workshops. “The battery’s importance is growing substantially, and workshops are experiencing this change. The electronics of modern vehicles do not forgive mistakes during battery replacement”, emphasizes Ulrich Eich, vice president Aftermarket EMEA, Johnson Controls Power Solutions.“We empower our partners to face these developments by providing them our new enhanced service concept which will support them with the tools to properly service this new generation of vehicles. Battery know-how results in increased customer satisfaction”.

Therefore, Johnson Controls has launched the new service concept that prepares and supports workshops in dealing with all steps of replacing a battery, from technical training to detailed fitment instructions. An important component of this concept is the now-enhanced VARTA Partner Portal, an online tool that provides market-leading battery fitment instructions in terms of detail and coverage.The VARTA Partner Portal offers the broadest range of data types for battery location and replacement, such as battery location, replacement time, EOBD (European Onboard Diagnostic) location and replacement process. Mechanics will find detailed fitment instructions for up to 98 percentof the European start-stop car park – usually the most complex to service from a battery standpoint. Moreover, this portal provides workshops with detailed imagery and diagrams to facilitate battery location and replacement in complex vehicles – something only made possible through a collaboration with several main automotive information providers. In addition, through specified new educational video tutorials and seamless access to VARTA’s online library, mechanics will become experts for basic and advanced battery technologies, which will improve the time spent diagnosing and replacing the battery.

The VARTA Partner Portal also comes with improvements regarding the architecture that provide an enhanced interface and overall navigation experience. Since the selection of the best battery is crucial for both users of commercial vehicles and fleet managers, the new heavy-duty section of the portal includes special features like a TCO Calculator and a Need Analyzer that will help fleet managers choose the best battery for their trucks from a perspective of operational costs and performance.