Friday, June 12, 2009

Lithium batteries for cars

GreenTech Media discussed recent events in lithium batteries:

Valence Technology, the Austin, Texas-based lithium iron magnesium phosphate battery maker, announced Tuesday 2 June 09 a partnership with German industrial giant Siemens to supply batteries for hybrid boats. It's an extension of the work Valence has done with Siemens building hybrid drive train systems for double-decker buses in London made by Wrightbus.


In contrast, General Motors earlier this year chose a consortium led by Korea's LG Chem over startup A123 Systems to supply lithium-ion batteries for GM's promised plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt. While differences in battery design were among the reasons GM cited, so was the risk of working with a startup versus an established company (see With General Motors Snub, is A123 on the Ropes?).

A123 did land a deal to supply Chrysler with battery cells and co-develop battery packs for the automaker's promised line of electric and hybrid vehicles. Of course, with GM and Chrysler now both in bankruptcy, it's unclear how those partnerships will fare (see A123 Inks Battery Deal With Chrysler).

Electric vehicle startups are also eager for partnerships with larger counterparts, as electric carmaker Tesla Motors' deal with Daimler last month points out. The two will work together on battery and power train technology (see Daimler Takes 10% Stake in Tesla, Helps With Model S Launch).

The Wall Street Journal noted:

The Obama administration has set off a gold rush to power new environmentally friendly cars.

In one of the government's biggest efforts at shaping industrial policy, the Energy Department has been soliciting applications for $2.4 billion in funding aimed at turning the U.S. into a battery-manufacturing powerhouse. At the deadline last week, the department said it had received 165 applications.

Companies vying for the federal money include General Motors Corp., Dow Chemical Co., Johnson Controls Inc. and A123 Systems, a closely held battery maker backed by General Electric Co. and others. States including Michigan, Kentucky and Massachusetts are also weighing in with applications, usually in alliance with their favored battery makers.


Among them is A123, a Massachusetts company that makes batteries in China for Black & Decker power tools. It wants to build a $600 million lithium-ion plant in Livonia, outside Detroit. GM said it was working with A123 on batteries for the planned Volt electric vehicle, raising the small company's profile. But earlier this year GM said it was working exclusively with LG Chemicals, a Korean battery maker.


Blogger David said...

Valence Technology, Inc. and S&C Electric Company, Chicago-based developer of new products and services for the stationary electric power industry, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which the two companies agree to work together to develop and evaluate products for stationary grid-connected electrical energy storage systems.


11:14 AM  

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