A123 Systems Out Of Grid Storage, Focusing On Vehicle Batteries

A123 Systems is back into the spotlight and taking steps to focus on transportation batteries.

The company announced March 24 an agreement to divest of its grid storage business and other assets related to energy storage for telecom and IT data storage applications.

The company describes itself as a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate batteries and systems.

A123 stated it is increasingly focused on the transportation market with a particular emphasis on micro-hybrids. This rapidly growing application segment is attractive said A123 because automotive OEMs around the world are steadily turning towards simpler forms of electrification in their mainstream high-volume vehicle lines to address the ever-increasing regulatory requirements of lower emissions and better fuel economy around the world. The company believes its battery technology is very well suited to the requirements of this market and it is currently producing 12-volt micro-hybrid batteries for numerous programs across three vehicle manufacturers.

The company explained it also continues to actively serve and grow its customer base in the fields of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles globally. With the recent integration of battery production and engineering facilities in Hangzhou, China, which were previously under the management of Wanxiang EV, A123 has expanded its battery technology portfolio to include additional products well suited to the requirements of electric cars and buses.

“Our move to sharpen focus on current and future customers in the global transportation market demonstrates strategic clarity in our business. Our customers and partners around the world will benefit from the organization focusing its R&D strength and system engineering capabilities on clear priorities,” said Jason Forcier, CEO of A123 Systems. “We look forward to continued growth as a provider of leading-edge energy storage technology to the world’s vehicle manufacturers as they continue to develop the most economical forms of electrification.”

The divested businesses are being sold to NEC Corporation of Japan which intends to incorporate them into its Smart Energy Business Unit.

The former A123 Energy Solutions facilities in Westborough, Massachusetts and Chesterfield, Missouri are included in the deal. As part of the transaction, A123 will retain all of its cell manufacturing locations globally including those in Michigan and China and become a key cell supplier to NEC.