Battery Maker A123's Bankruptcy Underscores U.S. Hurdles for Clean Tech
The bankruptcy filing this week of U.S. government-backed battery maker A123 Systems demonstrates the challenges of developing clean energy technology in a still-evolving market.
A123 has developed energy storage technology for the electric grid as well as for electric cars and commercial applications. The Johnson Controls deal, which is valued at $125 million, includes two plants built in Michigan using grant money from the U.S. Department of Energy. It will also provide $72.5 million in financing to continue A123's automotive operations. Discussions are continuing for "strategic alternatives," A123 says, for the other segments of its business. A123 stock plummeted 18 cents to 6 cents a share on Tuesday—a dramatic decline from its all-time high of more than $22 per share in December 2009, just a few months after the company's initial public offering.
This past August, A123 had announced that Chinese auto-parts maker Wanxiang Group