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Chinese Firm Nabs Battery Maker A123 Out from Under JCI

National security issues could scuttle deal.

by on Dec.10, 2012

Now Chinese-owned, A123 will provide the batteries for the new Chevrolet Spark EV.

Mega-supplier Johnson Controls has withdrawn its bid for the bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems after declining to match a higher, $256.6 million bid submitted by the Chinese company Wanxiang Group Corp.

JCI originally appeared to have landed a deal to take control of the automotive portion of A123 – but the deal was scuttled in bankruptcy proceedings – though it leaves open some national security concerns. Meanwhile, Illinois-based Navitas Systems will buy A123’s government business, including all outstanding military contracts, for $2.25 million.

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A123 currently is the principal supplier of batteries for Fisker, which has seen its deliveries interrupted since the company filed for bankruptcy in October. The battery maker’s other clients include General Motors which will use an A123 pack in its new Chevrolet Spark EV electric vehicle.


GM Inks Another Big Battery Car Deal

Following deal with A123, GM will also partner with LG Chem on battery car development.

by on Aug.25, 2011

GM CEO Dan Akerson and LG COO Juno Cho sign a new battery car development deal.

Even as skeptics question the market potential for the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, General Motors is charging into the battery world with the latest in a series of deals aimed at making it a leader in electric propulsion.

The maker will expand its current alliance with Korean battery supplier LG Chem, the two partners saying they will work together on the development of new electric vehicles.  Precisely what type of products they hope to bring to market remains to be seen, but GM has already announced it will launch more Volt-based plug-ins, including a new model for Cadillac.  And, using batteries from LG Chem’s rival, A123, the Detroit maker is expected to launch its first pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, in 2014, reported earlier this month.  (For more on the A123 project, Click Here.)

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“Many solutions for tomorrow’s transportation needs may be available more quickly by building on our partnership strategy,” said GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky. ”Consumers benefit by getting the latest fuel-saving technology faster if we work with the best suppliers and we save time and money in the development process.”