The new company will be named NEC Energy Solutions and is slated to begin operation as an integral part of NEC’s smart energy business in June 2014.
With this acquisition, NEC will become the world’s leading supplier of lithium-ion grid energy storage systems. A123 Energy Solutions has deployed over 110MW of its Grid Storage Solutions (GSS) worldwide with the vast majority of these systems already in revenue service.
The company will continue to supply systems utilizing A123 Systems‘ Nanophosphate lithium-ion cells and support all existing installations. NEC Energy Solutions, with access to NEC Corporation’s world-class information communications technology (ICT) and A123 Energy Solutions’ system integrations expertise, is now better prepared to address the increasing global need for energy storage.
A123, which is retaining its all of its existing cell manufacturing and sales, research and development, and automotive operations, is increasingly focused on the transportation market with a particular emphasis on micro-hybrids.
This rapidly growing application segment is attractive because automotive OEMs around the world are steadily turning towards simpler forms of electrification in their mainstream high-volume vehicle lines to address the ever-increasing regulatory requirements of lower emissions and better fuel economy around the world. A123’s battery technology is very well suited to the requirements of this market and the company is currently producing 12-volt micro-hybrid batteries for numerous programs across three vehicle manufacturers.
A123 used much of the federal funding to help build two plants in Michigan, where it produces batteries for electric cars. Those facilities will remain with Wanxiang, which is an auto parts provider.