A 123 Systems, the “green,” federal stimulus-funded lithium ion battery manufacturer, announced atrocious quarterly results today. Most expected that A 123‘s results would be dark red. What was a surprise was the simultaneous announcement that the company had entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Chinese industrial group, Wanxiang, that will give the Chinese control of the company.
Remember that A 123 is the battery supplier to electric car-maker Fisker, and is also an investor in Fisker. It’s also the third US lithium ion battery manufacturer to go under. The other two advanced “green” battery failures were ENER1 and Valence. But the other two simply expired; there was no resuscitation attempt by a large Chinese industrial group.
Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa has been conducting an investigation into A 123 and Fisker -- and the Department of Energy money that has been spent on these two companies to support Secretary of Energy Steven Chu’s pipe dream for automotive transportation. I personally told the Senate in outside witness testimony 30 months ago that the A 123 and Fisker story would end in failure.
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