A123Systems Powers Battery Technology
It’s no secret that we rely on our batteries to power just about every consumer electronic device, or that we are increasingly relying on those devices for just about everything we do. Lithium-Ion batteries are considered the next generation battery technology, offering longer life at a lower cost. This technology is also being looked at by major automakers as they seek to create Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles or PHEV‘s for the mass market that are scalable. One company helping to spur the development of this technology is Watertown, Mass.-based A123Systems. The company has licensed technology created by MIT to build a better Lithium-Ion battery, and has some pretty big investors including Qualcomm, Motorola and MIT, in addition to venture capitalists.
A123Systems made news recently, through it’s association with the Department of Energy and the Federal Transit Authority’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program. It also recently received $15 million from the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium, an organization composed of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation, to develop lithium iron phosphate battery technology for hybrid-electric vehicle applications. They’ve also partnered with Cobasys to develop, manufacture, sell, and service lithium-ion energy storage systems for hybrid electric vehicle applications. Their first joint venture is with GM, which will evaluate the system in its prototype Saturn Green Line Vue plug-in hybrid SUVs later this year. I spoke with company president and CEO David Vieau about these and other topics.