A123 Systems and Ener1 Poised to Benefit From Lithium Ion Revolution For Electric Vehicles

Following President Obama’s pledge of getting one million electric cars on the road by 2015, electric powered vehicle production is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Lithium ion batteries are considered the most significant factor for the success of modern electric vehicles. Lithium ion batteries use various materials depending on the purpose, with cobalt, nickel, manganese and lithium typically being the primary elements. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Industrial Electrical Equipment Industry and provides research reports on A123 Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: AONE) and Ener1, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEV).

Despite losing its bid to produce batteries for the Chevrolet "Volt" last year, A123 Systems remains one of the most recognizable names in lithium-ion battery design. A123 recently announced a production contract with an unnamed "major North American automaker" to provide batteries for an electric car debuting in 2013.

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Earlier this month A123’s closest competitor, Ener1, said that it lost $10.9 million, or 8 cents per share, during the quarter ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of nearly $15 million, or 12 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue more than tripled last quarter to $33.1 million. Ener1 said the highlight of the year was the launch of a grid energy storage division that won a supply agreement with a division of the Russian Federal Grid Co.