Lithium-ion batter maker A123Systems has acquired Hymotion, Inc., a fabricator of aftermarket plug-in hybrid conversion modules. These Battery Range Extender Modules (BREMs) can be easily installed in the spare tire well of most hybrid vehicles, enabling current production models to become plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
The Hymotion acquisition provides A123Systems access to critical early IP on plug-in hybrid systems technology as well as valuable experience with engineering BREMs using A123Systems’ Automotive Class Lithium-ion batteries. Terms were not disclosed.
A123Systems CEO David Vieau stated in testimony to a Senate subcommittee this week that the company plans to begin marketing BREMs in 2008. (Earlier post.)
With 5 million hybrids expected on the road by the end of 2010, we feel there is a significant opportunity for an interim aftermarket solution allowing consumers to experience the oil and CO2 reduction benefits that PHEV upgraded vehicles provide.—David Vieau
The fleet market has been an important testing ground for PHEVs. The Hymotion systems will continue to be available to the growing fleet market. Over the coming months we will work to reduce delivery times to fleets by standardizing packaging and in anticipation of having a consumer ready system for early 2008 introduction.—Ricardo Bazzarella, Co-founder and President of Hymotion
A123Systems and its partner Cobasys are working with GM on advanced battery development for use in the Saturn Vue Green Line plug-in hybrid SUV. GM has also awarded a development contract to Johnson Controls–Saft Advanced Power Solutions, LLC, a joint venture between Tier 1 automotive supplier Johnson Controls and Saft, for that project. (Earlier post.)