Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A123 Looks Set to Land U.S. Funds for Battery

From the Wall Street Journal:
The Obama administration plans to announce Wednesday the winners of $1.2 billion in federal stimulus funds for makers of advanced automotive batteries, part of an effort to make sure that electric cars sold in the U.S. run on American-made power sources.

One of the winners in a competition that drew applications from more than 100 companies is A123 Systems Inc. of Massachusetts, according to people familiar with the matter. Among other companies in the running for grants are Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions LLC -- a joint venture of Johnson Controls Inc. and French battery maker Saft Groupe SA -- and EnerDel, a unit of Ener1 Inc.

Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to name the winners at an event in Detroit on Wednesday. People familiar with the matter said A123's chief executive, David Vieau, is expected to attend Wednesday's announcement. Representatives of Detroit's three big auto makers -- General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler Group LLC -- have been asked by the Obama administration to provide photogenic electric vehicles for the occasion.

A spokesman for A123 declined to comment Tuesday. The event in Detroit is one of several the Obama administration is planning to highlight its efforts to accelerate the transformation of the U.S. automobile industry into one that will be more competitive and less polluting. Also on Wednesday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu is scheduled to visit Celgard LLC, a Charlotte, N.C., company that supplies material for lithium-ion batteries....MORE

HT: Environmental Capital