A123 Systems may (repeat, may) have lost out on being the initial supplier of Chevy Volt batteries but that doesn't mean they are down and out. In fact, it appears that their lithium-iron-phosphate batteries will have energy storage duties for the electric cars of Better Place. Or at least some of the cars. A123 recently received an undisclosed amount of investment from Ofer Holdings Group which controls Better Place backer, Israel Corp. Idan Ofer, who is chairman of both Israel Corp. and Better Place made the announcement in Australia during a press conference for the launch of Better Place operations there. Got all that? Good, because it doesn't get much less complicated.

Better Place is reportedly about to import 10 family-type cars from the U.S. to be used as sales demonstration vehicles and conduct various sorts of testing and training with. Although Ofer Holdings has a joint venture with China's Chery Automobiles Co. that will supply cars for the Israeli market, there is a possibility these particular cars might come from Chrysler or Chevrolet. At least according to "industry sources" cited in a Globes article. There is also a possibility that cars could come to the U.S. from Renault in Europe and have electric drivetrains installed before being sent off to Israel. Renault is a partner with Better Place as well. It seems that the only thing known for sure is what Better Place is quoted as saying. "The cars slated for tests in Israel are being assembled in the US and will arrive in Israel soon." We'll let you know what they're assembling as soon as we find out ourselves.

[Source: Globes / BusinessWeek]

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