A123 Plans US $1.8B Lithium Ion Battery Production Facilities

A123Systems announced that it has submitted an application under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program to qualify for US $1.84 billion in direct loans to support the construction of new lithium ion battery manufacturing facilities in the United States, with the first construction location in southeast Michigan.

If A123’s application is approved by DOE, this program would enable the company to dramatically expand production capacity in the United States, with full production volumes designed to supply battery systems for five million hybrid vehicles or half a million plug-in electric vehicles per year by 2013.

“We’re entering an exciting new phase for the automotive industry where we increase the electrification of vehicles, reducing consumption of gasoline through advanced batteries. This new facility would greatly accelerate this change and help ensure that the American economy replaces its dependence on foreign oil with reliance on advanced, homegrown batteries,” said David Vieau, A123Systems president and CEO.

At full operation, A123 expects that the plants in Michigan and Massachusetts would occupy as much as 7 million square feet and create more than 14,000 jobs. These plants would produce battery cells and systems to meet the needs of A123’s broad automotive customer portfolio, which currently includes over seven vehicle manufacturers and 19 vehicle models ranging from hybrid electric vehicles to fully electric vehicles.

“The new Administration has a great opportunity to insure that a superior American technology originally developed by A123 out of MIT, leads the way to an electric transportation revolution. This is a way to produce tens of thousands of new jobs and millions of oil-free new cars right here in the United States. I look forward to the plant that will be based in Massachusetts as part of the fight we’ll lead to guarantee that the electric fuel of the future will be sourced right here at home instead of overseas,” said U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

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