A123 Systems has been selected to develop Li-ion battery packs for a new, 2012 model year electric passenger car from Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), the largest automaker in China. Under the terms of the letter of intent, A123 will use its Nanophosphate cells to develop a customized battery pack that it will provide to Advanced Traction Battery Systems Co. (ATBS), the joint venture established between A123 and SAIC Motor Co. Ltd., for production. (Earlier post.)
The announcement accentuates the A123/SAIC joint venture—the first to be established between a non-Chinese battery manufacturer and a leading Chinese automaker, according to A123 Systems—and its focus on developing, manufacturing and selling complete vehicle traction battery systems in China.
A123’s advanced battery systems deliver increased safety, extended life and exceptional overall performance, which is why we have selected them for our new electric passenger car as well as for several of our other energy-efficient vehicles in development. We remain committed to producing a complete line of automobiles to support the government’s new energy vehicle initiative, and we expect to continue to expand our partnership with A123 and ATBS as key suppliers for current and future programs.—Dr. Jun Zhu, general manager of the New Energy Vehicle Division at SAIC
In addition to this new EV, A123 currently supplies battery technology to SAIC for several of its other electric drive-train vehicles in development, including the Roewe 750 hybrid electric sedan and the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid electric sedan.
In addition to SAIC, A123’s list of transportation customers includes BAE, Eaton, Fisker Automotive, Navistar and other global automakers and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers. The company’s technologies are also being implemented in a wide variety of commercial products, and the company has also shipped more than 30MW of its Smart Grid Stabilization Systems (SGSS) to customers worldwide, making A123 the world’s largest producer of lithium ion batteries for ancillary services for the power grid, it says.