Boston-Power, Inc. announced a multi-year agreement to provide battery systems to Beijing Electric Vehicle Company (BJEV), the electric vehicle delivery arm of Beijing Automotive Industry Company (BAIC).
Reflecting a long-standing working relationship between the two companies, it is projected that Boston-Power’s battery systems will be used in hundreds of electric vehicles (EVs) starting in 2012 and thousands of EVs by 2014.
Under terms of the agreement, Boston-Power’s battery systems are expected to support multiple BJEV models and brands. Availability of pre-ordered vehicles begins in fourth calendar quarter 2012 with the C70 sedan, which is based on the 9-5 SAAB chassis BAIC acquired in 2009.
In September 2011, Boston-Power announced $125 million in funding from a combination of private equity investment and support from China. The growth capital and Chinese government incentives are being used to scale manufacturing, research and development, and business development activities in China. The private equity round was led by GSR Ventures, a venture capital firm with over $1 billion under management that invests primarily in early stage and growth stage technology companies with substantial operations in China. Additionally, through its stimulus programs and local industrial policies, the Chinese government is providing a range of grants, low-interest loans and related financial and tax incentives.
As part of its plans, Boston-Power is establishing a R&D and EV battery engineering facility in China. This organization is building upon the current generation of Boston-Power’s lithium-ion battery technology to develop new energy storage products and solutions. The company is also building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in China that will be capable of producing 400 megawatt hours (MWh) of lithium-ion battery cells annually by the end of 2012.