U.S. Department of Energy Posts
The U.S. Department of Energy wants to drastically improve battery technology in the next 5 years. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu conducted an interview with Computerworld with the goal to produce batteries that are five times more powerful than current technology with a fifth of the overall cost.
A123 Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:AONE) is a company that manufactures advanced lithium-ion battery systems for the automotive and electric grid sectors. Today the company has announced that Johnson Controls Inc. (NYSE:JCI) will buy the company’s automotive assets in a transaction that is valued at $125 million. Johnson Controls will gain ownership of A123′s automotive technology, products, and customer contracts. They will also gain ownership of A123′s facilities in Livonia and Romulus, Michigan along with the cathode powder manufacturing facilities in China and A123′s equity interest in Shanghai Advanced Traction Battery Systems Co., which is A123′s joint venture with Shanghai Automotive.
Coulomb’s Department of Energy-funded ChargePoint America project is bringing 150 electric car charging stations to the Boston metro area. The ChargePoint stations are part of a $37 million project, which Coulomb Technologies has already established in other regions around the US. Boston’s stations will primarily be installed along Route 495. CNET reports that this expansion coincides with a partnership between BMW and Coulomb Technologies.
A123 Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:AONE), a developer and producer or advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries has announced today that they have opened the largest lithium ion automotive battery production facility in North America. The new plant is located in Livonia, Michigan and they are expecting to expand manufacturing capabilities by up to 600MW hours per day.
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Fisker Automotive has closed a $529 million loan from the U.S. Energy Department for building electric vehicles. Fisker will be building plug-in hybrid vehicles in a Wilmington, Delaware plant that was recently closed by General Motors. Development of the Karma sports sedan will create about 2,000 new jobs. Fisker expects to hit full production by about 2015. [Reuters]
Silicon solar cell company Suniva has just received a $141 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. Suniva joins the likes of other solar companies such as Solyndra and Brightsource Energy, who received $535 million and $1.37 billion respectively. Suniva will use the loan to build a solar cell manufacturing facility in Michigan according to VentureBeat. The Michigan plant could employ about 500 full-time positions and 2,000 temporary jobs. Suniva’s goal is to develop solar cells that require less pricey silicon. Suniva raised a total of $375 million in venture capital from Warburg Pincus, HIG Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Advanced Equities, and Apex Ventures.. [VentureBeat]
American automotive company V-Vehicle was denied a $321 million loan from the Department of Energy. V-Vehicle was founded by former Oracle vice president Frank Varasano. V-Vehicle raised venture capital from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and T. Boone Pickens. V-Vehicle is based in Monroe, Louisiana. The company raised $87.5 million through private fundraising and was promised $67 million from the state of Louisiana.
The Department of Energy denied V-Vehicle $321 million as part of the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program set up by Congress. Car and Driver speculates that the reason why V-Vehicle may have been denied the loan because they are not involved with the UAW. The UAW has a strong lobby group in Washington. V-Vehicle has about 1,400 employees. [Car and Driver]