U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

Innovation in Electric Vehicle Technology? Easy as A123

May 11, 2011

Photo of a sleek car covered with photovoltaic cells as it rolls down a road.

An A123 battery helped the University of Michigan's solar car win the American Solar Challenge 2010.
Credit: University of Michigan

To find an example of the innovations highlighted at the "Electrifying the Economy—Educating the Workforce" Michigan workshop recently, the Energy Blog traveled to the A123 Systems' battery production plant in Livonia, Michigan. Thanks to DOE support, A123 is rolling out advanced battery technology that is helping power many of the electric vehicles that are on America's roads today.

A123 Systems began as a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). With Department of Energy support, it grew from a small start-up company in 2001 to an international business with more than 2,000 employees. What's more, in just one decade of partnership with the DOE, A123 has developed advanced lithium-ion batteries based on a unique nanoscale lithium-iron-phosphate cathode material that allows batteries to operate with improved safety, excellent cycle and calendar life, and higher rates of charge and discharge than previous generations of lithium batteries. See the Energy Blog post.