Lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems is officially unplugging from the grid. The company, which was acquired by Wanxiang Group last year, is selling its grid-storage business to Japan-based NEC Corp. The company's Massachusetts and Missouri facilities are going along with it.
A123 makes a pretty good lithium battery that has a high-cycle life and can put out loads of power. What it's not so good at, however, is holding a lot of energy. At least, not when compared to the Panasonic cells that Tesla Motors uses in the Model S. Sure, it's great for hybrids and city-car applications like the Chevy Spark EV, but if it's going to find a place in the longer-range EVs of the future, it will need to up its game. It looks like that could happen.
A123 Systems, the lithium-ion battery maker that was acquired out of bankruptcy in January, has promoted Jason Forcier to chief executive officer and said it would attempt to build up its business by attracting more China-based customers, Reuters reports. The company also said its executives would be based at the company's factory in Livonia, MI. Forcier had previously headed A123's auto division.
It's official: A123 Systems Inc. is passing through its final phase. The bankrupt lithium ion battery maker, now going by the name B456 Systems Inc., has won court approval for its plan to exit bankruptcy that pays off creditors from proceeds gained by selling off virtually all of its assets.
Any self-respecting dealer would refuse to sell a Fisker Karma extended-range plug-in for a mere $12,000, but Fisker Automotive may be taking that approach with former battery supplier A123 Systems by settling for about 11 cents on the dollar in a bankruptcy-court claim.
Ok, so we made the "PDQ" part up, but battery maker A123 Systems, Inc. has changed its name to B456 Systems, Inc. – and no, this is not an early April Fool's Day joke. As part of A123's bankruptcy proceedings dating to last October, it was required to change its name in order to be purchased by Chinese company Wanxiang. According to the Detroit Free Press, as part of a March 22, 2013 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, A123 declared that its new name is B456 the name of
Details of the A123 Systems bankruptcy proceedings are getting ironed out, and have been given the green light by US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey. The federal judge approved an outline of lithium ion battery maker A123's liquidation plan to be used by creditors, who will decide whether to vote for or against the repayment plan.
Wanxiang Group's acquisition of lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems has been approved by the US government, according to a statement from the Chinese auto parts maker. Wanxiang's US unit had agreed to pay $257 million for A123's automotive battery business and related assets in a bankruptcy auction.
The bankruptcy proceedings for A123 Systems are moving relatively smoothly toward completion, and it looks like Wanxiang America Corp. and Navitas Systems LLC should complete the transactions within the guidelines of the court-ordered asset purchase agreements by February 1, 2013.
Wanxiang Group has insisted A123 Systems will remain an American company operationally following intense scrutiny from US lawmakers. China's largest parts manufacturer purchased A123 Systems at auction after the company fell into insolvency, but the battery maker holds a number of defense contracts with the US government. Pin Ni, head of Wanxiang's US operations, told Reuters that A123 will not be folded into the group's lithium-ion battery unit and will instead remain an American company. The $
Johnson Controls isn't taking the bankruptcy sale of A123 Systems to the Chinese company Wanxiang lying down. Wanxiang won the bankruptcy court sale for $256 million on December 11 and, today, Johnson Controls has filed an appeal against the sale because it "objects to delay in payment of break-up fee and expense reimbursement."
The pending production schedule for the Fisker Karma is pretty much at the mercy of US regulators, as the California-based maker of the extended-range plug-in won't start things up again until the ownership issue of bankrupt battery-maker A123 Systems is settled, Automotive News reports.
Bankrupt lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems may have gained a new owner, but will lose a lot of money in the pending sale to China-based Wanxiang Group, Reuters reports, citing an unidentified US Energy Department official.
And in the "one hand didn't know what the other hand was doing" department, we have this. Lithium-ion battery-pack maker A123 Systems received almost $1 million in federal funding the day it filed for bankruptcy, Reuters reports, citing a letter the company sent to Republican Senators John Thune and Chuck Grassley.