Advanced Traction Battery Systems (ATBS), A123 Systems’ Shanghai-based joint-venture company with SAIC Motor (earlier post), has been selected to develop battery packs for a new plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) sedan from Geely, one of the fastest-growing automakers in China and the parent company of Volvo Car Corporation.
Under the terms of the development agreement, A123 Systems will supply 20Ah prismatic cells to ATBS for the production of complete lithium-ion battery packs for Geely’s new PHEV, which is expected to launch in China in 2014.
Geely recently executed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Volvo to leverage its full access to the Volvo authorized technologies and develop its premium brand. Both Geely and Volvo have been exploring ways to tap on the synergy and develop strategic projects of global significance. These joint efforts include: joint development of a small displacement, high performance and green engine family; joint development of a safe, light-weight and environmentally friendly small car platform; and joint development of shared powertrain technology of electric vehicle, hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Geely has more than 30 different models in its portfolio. In 2011, it produced more than 430,000 vehicles, and there are currently more than 2.2 million Geely vehicles on the road worldwide.
A123’s 20Ah prismatic cells are designed to deliver high power, increased safety, extended life and a higher usable energy over a wider state-of-charge, enabling Geely to optimize the efficiency of its design and maximize vehicle range.
We believe that China, the largest and fastest growing auto market in the world, represents a significant opportunity for our technology, especially to help automakers leverage the government’s ambitious requirements and lucrative incentives for the production of new energy vehicles.
Since forming our ATBS joint venture in 2009, we have made significant progress in delivering complete solutions to the passenger and commercial vehicle markets in China. Geely is at the forefront of electric vehicle development, and we believe that this agreement validates A123’s battery technology as well as the systems engineering expertise we have helped cultivate at ATBS.—Jason Forcier, vice president of the Automotive Solutions Group at A123