As soon as we heard the announcement about Smith Electric Vehicles US Corp and Ford's Smith-built Transit Connect coming to America, our minds soon turned to the battery supplier of that company, Valence Technology. The Austin, Texas-based firm keeps a lower profile than some of its competitors like A123 and Enerdel preferring, it seems, to quietly go about the business of being putting its batteries into vehicles as diverse as the Segway and the PV1 truck.
Our curiosity was quickly rewarded by an article in the Austin American Statesman that says that Valence is considering building a new battery plant either in America or Europe. It has been making its batteries at two facilities in China but with Tanfield (Smith Electric's parent company) and other customers asking about a U.S. factory and the possibility of government funding becoming available via the stimulus package, it is considering bringing production closer to home. They are hedging a little, mentioning Europe as a possible location as well, but it does seem they will thoroughly investigate the American option first. It is widely thought that increased domestic production of lithium ion batteries would be strategically prudent and, besides that, we could use the jobs.

[Source: Austin American Statesman]

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