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A123 Systems announced the grand opening of its 291,000 square-foot battery research, development and production plant in Livonia, MI today. The factory's vast size makes it, the company claims, "the largest lithium-ion automotive battery production facility in North America." That is, based on readily available data. The new plant will expand A123's battery manufacturing capabilities by up to 600 MWh per year and brings the company close to achieving its goal of reaching a final cell assembly c

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

Electric vehicle infrastructure provider Better Place has concluded a three-month field test in Tokyo to prove its battery swapping technology works as promised. In cooperation with Nissan and battery supplier A123 System, three Rogue crossovers were converted to electric drive and given replaceable batteries. The battery-powered Rogues were used as taxis in the Japanese capital and had their 17 kilowatt-hour batteries replaced several times a day. In the test form, the Rogue EV has a real world

We've witnessed repair trucks parked curbside idling away for hours spewing emissions while workers perform tasks. In fact, this apparent waste of fuel happens all too often, doesn't it? It's not that the workers are mistakenly leaving the trucks running, it's that the diesel engine provides power to the tools needed to perform repair tasks. So, is there any way to avoid running the engine for hours on end yet still accomplish the necessary work? You bet there is, and Eaton Corp., along with A12

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.

Massachusetts-based battery maker A123 Systems finally completed its initial public offering on Thursday. The lithium ion start-up offered 28,180,501 shares of its common stock at an opening price of $13.50 a share. Apparently, traders on the Nasdaq exchange thought the price was too low and quickly bid it up to a first day closing price of $20.29 a share, a healthy 50-percent gain. For those interested in following the stock, it is listed under the ticker symbol AONE on the NASDAQ listings.

It looks like Ford won't be the only company getting lithium ion battery packs from Magna International. The Magna Steyr division of the supplier announced last week that it will begin production of packs at its plant in Graz, Austria next month. The packs will be supplied to Volvo for use in its buses, heavy duty trucks and garbage trucks equipped with hybrid powertrains. Volvo uses a parallel hybrid system for its vehicles.

With the closing of the latest round of private fund raising, Massachusetts-based A123 Systems now has an extra $69 million in the bank. General Electric put up $15 million of that amount, bringing its ownership stake in the advanced battery startup to more than 10 percent, the single largest shareholding. This latest funding round comes just one week after Chrysler announced that A123 Systems would be its first primary supplier of lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles. China's SAIC also a

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.

A123 Systems announced today that it has applied for $1.84 billion in loans from the Department of Energy to help contribute to the $2.3 billion required to pay for the construction of battery plants in the United States. In what should be good news for Michigan, the first of the facilities A123 is planning would be located there. If A123 gets the funds, it plans to have enough cell manufacturing capacity in place by 2013 to support 5 million hybrid vehicles or half a million battery electric ve

At least a few dozen people around the country have now done one-off conversions of hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape to transform them into plug-in vehicles. For those who may not have the hardware hacker gene in their DNA, the first commercially available plug-in conversion kit is now on the market from A123 Systems subsidiary HyMotion. Popular Mechanics Detroit Editor Larry Webster recently had the chance to sample a converted Prius with the HyMotion kit for a couple of days. The

Most of the rumors in recent months have indicated that LG Chem/CPI have the upper hand and are likely to be chosen by General Motors to supply the lithium ion battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt. However, there are plenty of electric drive vehicle projects out there and just because A123 systems may not get the Volt business, it doesn't mean they are completely out. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Massachusetts based battery maker may be in the running to supply energy storage sy

At a preview of GM's 2009 model year lineup yesterday in Jolliet IL, Bob Lutz revealed that the production supplier for the Chevy Volt battery has been selected. Unfortunately, the GM Vice Chairman would not say which of the development suppliers had been selected. Two partnerships have been supplying prototype batteries to GM for the E-Flex program since late in 2007. LG Chem and its U.S. subsidiary Compact Power Inc have long been considered to be the leaders in the race to supply the most cri

Just last week we found out that lithium ion battery maker A123 Systems had filed the first batch of paperwork required for it to make an initial public stock sale. Having tried to read through a few of these kinds of filings in the past, we took a pass this time around. Fortunately our friends at GreenTechMedia waded into these waters and noticed some interesting items. Since companies have to disclose all sorts of information about risks and benefits they face when going public, A123 discussed

Many of you who have been pestering us in the comments for the past couple of years about wanting to invest in A123 Systems and you may now have your chance. A123 is the Massachusetts based company that has developed a lithium ion battery chemistry based on nano particle iron phosphate. A123 has two deals to provide development batteries for GM's Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid and Chevrolet Volt ER-EV as well as a deal with Norwegian EV maker Th!nk. The startup battery company has filed the initial

A123 Systems has just earned yet another development contract for developing lithium ion cells for plug-in hybrid applications. The US Advanced Battery Consortium and the Department of Energy have awarded a $12.5 million, 36 month contract to A123. The company has already been working on several automotive plug-in hybrid battery applications including the Saturn Vue PHEV and the Chevy Volt. A123 also purchased Hymotion last year, a company that has been developing plug-in conversion kits for exi

All you Prius owners out there who have been waiting patiently to to start running on grid power can almost stop holding your breath. Hymotion, the company that has been developing a plug-in kit for the Prius, has now started taking deposits for the L5 conversion kit. The kit costs $9,995 plus $400 for shipping and, of course, any applicable taxes. That price includes installation at an approved shop and a three year warranty. The first deliveries and installations should start this July.