Lithium Ion battery manufacturer A123 Systems has been in the news the past several months for the wrong reason. Several months ago a Fisker Karma EVER (Extended Range Electric Vehicle) being tested by Consumer Reports, stopped dead in its tracks. Talking about bad timing – it couldn’t get much worst! The cause of this sudden demise was the lithium ion battery in the Karma. It turned out that the battery was manufactured by A123 Systems. Even worst, the fault in the battery was traced to a faulty calibration on a machine in A123’s newly opened manufacturing plant in Michigan. The end result was that A123 has to replaced all batteries shipped to Fisker at A123’s expense. The cost totals some $50 million dollars. This really hurts because A123 is a startup company struggling to make a profit.
Well, this past week there was good news. A123 Systems announced the introduction of Nanophospate EXT, a new lithium ion battery technology capable of operating at extreme temperatures without requiring heating or cooling. This will allow electric vehicle manufacturers to greatly reduce or eliminate temperature control systems for their electric vehicles. You can read the details here – http://www.a123systems.com/ .
In addition to the Fisker Karma, A123 will supply the batteries for the Chevy Spark EV to be introduced in 2013, the Cadillac ELR EVER in late 2013, and the Fisker Atlantic EVER in 2014. As a share holder in A123 Systems, and an advocate of American technology, I believe that it is a company with great technology, and, with time, it will be a great American success story.