A123 Systems Selected to Develop Battery Pack for New Electric Vehicle from SAIC

A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate™ lithium ion batteries and systems, announced that it has been selected to develop battery packs for a new, 2012 model year electric passenger car from Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), the largest automaker in China. Under the terms of the letter of intent, A123 will use its cells to develop a customized battery pack that it will provide to Advanced Traction Battery Systems Co. (ATBS), the joint venture established between A123 and SAIC Motor Co. Ltd., for production.

"A123’s advanced battery systems deliver increased safety, extended life and exceptional overall performance, which is why we have selected them for our new electric passenger car as well as for several of our other energy-efficient vehicles in development," said Dr. Jun Zhu, general manager of the New Energy Vehicle Division at SAIC. "We remain committed to producing a complete line of automobiles to support the government’s new energy vehicle initiative, and we expect to continue to expand our partnership with A123 and ATBS as key suppliers for current and future programs."

This announcement accentuates the ongoing success of the A123/SAIC joint venture—the first to be established between a non-Chinese battery manufacturer and a leading Chinese automaker—and its focus on developing, manufacturing and selling complete vehicle traction battery systems in China, the largest and fastest growing automotive market in the world. In addition to this new zero-emission passenger car, A123 currently supplies battery technology to SAIC for several of its other electric drive-train vehicles in development, including the Roewe 750 hybrid electric sedan and the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid electric sedan.

"Chinese government officials recently forecasted that the country’s annual production of electric vehicles could reach 1 million units by 2020. Through our joint venture with SAIC, we are excited about the opportunity to contribute to this admirable goal by developing battery technology for this new passenger car as well as for several of SAIC’s other programs," said Jason Forcier, vice president of the Automotive Solutions Group at A123 Systems. "These platforms highlight SAIC’s commitment to China’s new energy vehicle initiative, and they also showcase the versatility of A123’s batteries and systems as the ideal solution for whichever type of energy-efficient vehicles gain widespread adoption in the Chinese market."

A123’s advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems are designed to help customers quickly and cost-effectively take innovative solutions from conception to commercialization. A123 is the first major U.S.-based battery manufacturer to receive TS 16949 certification for its cylindrical lithium ion cells for automotive applications, validating that the company’s product design and manufacturing processes meet the highest standards for excellence in the automotive industry. In addition to SAIC, A123’s growing list of transportation customers includes BAE, Eaton, Fisker Automotive, Navistar and other global automakers and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers. The company’s innovative technologies are also being implemented in a wide variety of commercial products, and the company has also shipped more than 30MW of its Smart Grid Stabilization Systems (SGSS) to customers worldwide, making A123 the world’s largest producer of lithium ion batteries for ancillary services for the power grid.

A123 Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: AONE) develops and manufactures advanced lithium ion batteries and battery systems for the transportation, electric grid services and commercial markets. Headquartered in Massachusetts and founded in 2001, A123 Systems’ proprietary nanoscale electrode technology is built on initial developments from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.