A123 Systems had a tough second quarter with an increased loss and the loss of potential business with Chrysler. A123 had been named by Chrysler as its electric vehicle battery supplier early in 2009. Unfortunately, Chrysler's ENVI division was dissolved late last year following the company's bankruptcy process and Fiat canceled most of the electric vehicle projects. A123 was to have supplied batteries for the planned Fiat 500 EV, but Chrysler has reportedly brought in another supplier. That oth
Massachusetts-based A123 Systems has been one of the rising stars of the lithium battery field in the last several years. In spite of that, the company that was started by a team of MIT researchers has struggled to raise cash to manufacture automotive cells in the United States.
At the same time that A123 Systems was announcing its deal to supply lithium ion batteries to Fisker Automotive last week, the Massachusetts-based company announced a major expansion of its production capacity. A123 already has one plant running in Novi, MI, (northwest of Detroit) and there is a second, larger, 300,000 square facility due to open in the middle of this year in Livonia, MI. A third factory – similar in size to the Livonia plant – will begin construction later this year
A123 Systems has garnered plenty of attention for its lithium ion battery technology over the last several years, mostly here in the United States. The Massachusetts-based startup has now formed a partnership with IHI to market its batteries in Japan, a market that already has a number of domestic suppliers. According to IHI, it favors the A123 batteries because they are lower in cost.
Earlier this week, Chrysler confirmed it would be using battery packs supplied by A123, an American company that specializes in high-tech lithium ion battery technology, to power future electric vehicles as part of its ENVI program. To make this deal work out, A123 will build an assembly plant somewhere near the Motor City in Michigan. This proposed plant would eventually employ 14,000 people and have the capacity to supply 5 million hybrid vehicles or half a million battery electric vehicles.
Tier 1 auto parts supplier Delphi, which emerged as an offshoot of General Motors over a decade ago, has announced that it will supply hybrid powertrain components to Chinese automaker Shanghai Auto, better known as SAIC. This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, considering that SAIC is GM's official partner for the Chinese market and Delphi is already the supplier that The General uses for its mild hybrid powertrain.
As we reported a few months back, all signs point to Compact Power, a subsidiary of LG Chem, being awarded the big initial battery contract for the upcoming Chevy Volt. Why? There are some obvious reasons, including that Compact Power was able to get its battery packs to the General a full two months before A123 fulfilled its end of the bargain, but there could be more to it than that, and Technology Review is postulating on some possible reasons. Could it be that A123's units were more expensiv
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