A123Systems Receives $30 Million Investment

February 05, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

A123Systems, developer of a new generation of lithium-ion batteries, has completed its third round of private equity funding totaling $30 million.

New investors in the company are GE, Alliance Capital Management and FA Technology Ventures. Also participating in this round are existing investors, including Motorola, Qualcomm, North Bridge Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, OnPoint, YankeeTek and Desh Deshpande, the company's chairman of the board.

A123Systems will use its new capital infusion to increase manufacturing capacity, to continue support for its current customer base and revenue growth, to accelerate the development of batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and to continue development of products for other markets demanding improved power technology.

"A123Systems' advanced batteries have the potential to drastically lower the weight and cost of batteries for hybrid electric vehicles, bringing a new level of performance to automobile manufacturers," said David Vieau, chief executive officer and president of A123Systems. "An A123Systems battery is projected to be 80% lighter than batteries used in current HEVs and will offer superior life and durability."

Announced in November, A123Systems' battery technology delivers up to 10X longer cycle life, 5X power gains and dramatically faster charge time over conventional high-power battery technology, as validated by independent testing at commercial and government research labs.

"The level of interest and excitement surrounding A123Systems clearly illustrates the momentum behind creating a new generation of batteries that will promote the development of clean technology applications," said Mark Huang, senior vice president of GE Commercial Finance — Technology Lending.

A123Systems is already supplying batteries to the Black & Decker Corporation for use in a heavy-duty, 36-volt line of portable power tools. The company is also working with the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a major undertaking to develop battery materials for future use in hybrid electric vehicles. Preliminary performance results show a technology with great promise for the future of electric and hybrid electric vehicles, company officials said.

Founded in 2001, A123Systems' proprietary nanoscale electrode technology is built on initial developments from MIT.