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A123 Systems Announces "Battery Range Extender Modules" Strategy
Feb 27, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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A123Systems is aiming not only at the new cars market (with its development contract with GM for the Saturn Vue PHEV and perhaps the Volt, but also for the conversions market. Here's today's press release.

President Bush Meets with A123Systems' CEO to Discuss Advanced Batteries for Plug-In Hybrids Capable of Over 150 MPG

Priority Lithium Ion R&D with Automakers and DOE Needed to Support Mass Produced Plug-In Hybrids Should Be Augmented by New Standardized Modules Enabling Today's Hybrids to Become Plug-Ins with a Significant and Earlier Improvement in Mileage Efficiency

CAPTION: A123Systems CEO shows standardized, easy to install PHEV module to President Bush and Secretary Bodman at the White House (Business Wire: Photo)­portal/­site/­google/­index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20070226006122&newsLang=en

WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A123Systems of Boston, Massachusetts, developer and marketer of state-of-the-art lithium ion batteries, announced today that their CEO, David Vieau, met with President George W. Bush and Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman at the White House on Friday to inspect a prototype Battery Range Extender Module that can be easily installed in the spare tire well of most hybrid vehicles, enabling these current production models to become plug-in hybrids capable of achieving 150 or more miles per gallon.

Several companies are marketing such modules using A123Systems' battery cells. Testing at DOE's Argonne National Labs has confirmed the effectiveness in an existing hybrid of such range extension battery modules. By year's end, there will be over 500,000 hybrids on US roads, with over 4 million vehicles expected by the end of the decade that could benefit from these modules.

"A123Systems top priority is to work with automakers, including GM on the Saturn VUE Plug-In Hybrid program. We are also working closely with the DOE in their continuing support for more intensive research, to the end of further reducing the weight and cost of larger cells, which will be critical to the mass production of OEM plug-in hybrids," Vieau observed.

"Every new and converted plug-in hybrid has the potential to reduce oil consumption for that vehicle by as much as 75% and emissions by up to 50% in pursuit of the President's goal to reduce oil imports by 20% before 2017," said Vieau. "The President was very interested in talking about the additional research dollars and consumer incentives that would start putting meaningful numbers of plug-in hybrids on the road as soon as possible," he added.

"In the meantime, introducing the American public to the dramatic efficiency potential of the battery progress we have already made could kick start our national energy savings while providing invaluable experience and data for accelerating the essential transition from foreign oil to an ever cleaner electricity grid," Vieau noted.

A123Systems is also working with NYSERDA on a program that could put as many as 600 Plug-In Hybrids on the road using such range extender modules. Several other states are proposing similar fleet programs. In helping make such plug-in modules available to the greatest number of fleets and consumers, A123Systems will emphasize standardized, mass produced and fully tested installations which, unlike other custom conversions, require no modification of existing software or battery systems, and minimal installation time.

A123Systems also recently announced it will work with GE to develop systems for the hybrid bus market and recently received a $15 million development contract for next generation HEV batteries from the U.S. Department of Energy and the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), an organization composed of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation.

About A123Systems

A123Systems has quickly become one of the world's leading suppliers of high-power lithium-ion batteries. Based on the company's patented nanophosphate technology, the batteries deliver previously unattainable levels of power, safety and life. Applicable to a wide range of industries, A123Systems' products allow OEMs expanded flexibility in system design, removing many traditional technology constraints. Currently, the Company sells millions of battery cells to Black and Decker and Dewalt for use in the most advanced handheld power tools available on the market today. Founded in 2001, A123Systems' proprietary nanoscale electrode technology is built on initial developments from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For additional information please visit

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