a123 systems

Why Is It So Hard to Make Money in New Energy Storage Technology?

January 21, 2013 by Neal Dikeman

Energy Storage via Shutterstock

Energy storage is still the rage in cleantech. But after the collapse of A123 and Beacon, and the spectacular failure on the Fisker Karma in its Consumer Reports tests, fire in Hawaii with Xtreme Power’s lead acid grid storage system and with NGK’s sodium sulphur system, and now battery problems grounding the Boeing Dreamliners, investors in batteries are again divided into the jaded camp, and the koolaid drinker camp.[read more]

Battery Maker A123 Sold at Auction to Chinese Firm

December 11, 2012 by Christina Nunez

(Photograph by Graham Smith/Flickr)

Chinese auto parts manufacturer Wanxiang Group agreed to purchase battery maker A123 Systems for $256.6 million Sunday, pending approval from U.S. bankruptcy court and the federal government.  A123 makes lithium ion batteries and storage systems for the utility and transportation sectors.The deal ends an ownership roller coaster for...[read more]

In The Wake Of A123, Should The Government Still Pick Energy Technology Winners?

October 30, 2012 by Gary L. Hunt

Electric Car Storage via Shutterstock

The battery technology firm A123 burned cash faster than it was coming in the door in a market for PHEV that is not as hot as many would like.  But unlike other green energy companies to flame out the A123 bankruptcy saw one an industry giant, Johnson Controls, ride in to make a bid for its assets.Not even the $7500 Federal tax...[read more]

The A123 End Game

October 19, 2012 by James Greenberger

Lithium Ion Battery via Shutterstock

Over the past three years A123 Systems made great progress in developing lithium iron phosphate cells and manufacturing complex battery systems. It is a shame that A123 stockholders will not see the benefit of those efforts. But if the country eventually sees the benefit, because a successor company is able to build successfully on the initial work of A123, taxpayer money will have been well spent.[read more]

A123 Runs Out of Juice

October 18, 2012 by Scott Edward Anderson

Out of juice.Not so long ago, I was long on A123 Systems. But over the course of 3 years, I went from long to wrong. I was enthusiastic about the company's products, its lineup of investors (GE, Qualcomm, Sequoia Capital), and its partnerships with leading electric vehicle manufacturers, such as Fisker. And, back on October 2,...[read more]

A123 Bankruptcy Casts Doubts on EV Goals

October 17, 2012 by Geoffrey Styles

Bankruptcy Filing via Shutterstock

The theory was that the federal government could guide an entire US electric vehicle (EV) industry into existence by providing generous incentives. That vision was attractive, because EVs have the potential to counter climate change and bolster energy security. However, yesterday's bankruptcy of battery-maker A123 Systems, Inc. provides a costly reality check.[read more]

What Role for China in the U.S. Battery Industry?

August 11, 2012 by James Greenberger

Photo by amyadoyzie via Flickr

Now that A123 Systems, one of the largest recipients of government-funded battery R&D largesse, may become Chinese-owned, the federal government will have to face the question of whether, and on what terms, Chinese-owned companies will be given access to U.S. battery and advanced materials technology. Despite the clear challenges that U.S. manufacturing firms have faced in these areas, U.S. battery and advanced materials technology continues to be the best in the world—and the Chinese know it.[read more]

A123 Deal Ignites Debate Over China, Energy

August 10, 2012 by Marianne Lavelle

Wilm Ihlenfeld/Shutterstock

News that China’s largest auto parts maker is seeking a controlling stake in one of the most heralded U.S. green technology companies, A123 Systems, has quickly ignited into a debate on national security and the energy future.[read more]

McKinsey Report Sees a Bright Future for the Advanced Battery Sector

July 14, 2012 by James Greenberger

Photo by s_manca via Flickr

McKinsey predicts that the price of a complete automotive lithium-ion battery pack could fall from $500 to $600/kWh today to about $200/kWh by 2020 and to about $160/kWh by 2025. According to the report, about 33% of these cost reductions will come from increased manufacturing efficiency, 25% from lower materials and component prices, and about 40-45% from technological improvements in the energy density of lithium-ion cells. The report does not even mention expected improvements in the efficiency of battery systems.[read more]

Public Investment Central to Advanced Battery Breakthrough

June 13, 2012 by Matthew Stepp

concept w/Shutterstock

Today A123 – a leading U.S. vehicle battery firm – announced it has developed a breakthrough lithium-ion battery that could potentially make electric vehicle (EV) battery packs lighter by not requiring a heating and cooling system while also extending the battery packs lifetime. This advance is a notable step towards addressing some of...[read more]

Drawing the Right Conclusions from the Problems at A123

May 22, 2012 by James Greenberger

Last week A123 Systems disclosed in a Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it lost $125.0 million during the quarter ended March 31, 2012, acknowledging that these circumstances raise substantial doubt on its ability to continue as a going concern. What will this mean for the debate surrounding continued government financial support for the development of new energy technologies?[read more]

The President's Plan for Electric Vehicles

January 27, 2011 by Simon Mui

As I blogged about yesterday, winning the global electric vehicle race will require the U.S. to do what Asia and Europe are doing – and more. Today the White House followed up to the President's bold Clean Energy plan with details on spurring the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) industry.  I take a look at the plan...[read more]

DOE Completes $17 Million Loan Guarantee for New York Energy Storage System

December 23, 2010 by Mike Gregory

Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced a $17.1 million loan guarantee has been finalized for the AES Westover facility. The loan guarantee will support the construction of a 20 megawatt (MW) energy storage system using advanced lithium-ion batteries. The AES project, located in Johnson City, New York, will help provide a more stable...[read more]