U.S. Li-ion Battery Company Lured To China

Government support for cutting-edge energy companies is anathema to some politicians in the United States. Meanwhile, in China it’s full speed ahead. Just ask next-generation lithium-ion battery maker Boston-Power, a Massachusetts company now headed to China.

The company, which already did some manufacturing in China, said it was convinced to essentially relocate there by “$125 million in new funding from a combination of private equity investment and support from China.” Boston-Power didn’t break down the $125 million by sector, but it did say that “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.”

Boston-Power, moving to China

image via Boston-Power

Boston-Power said it will build “a world-class R&D and EV battery engineering facility in China” as well as “a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in China that will be capable of producing 400 megawatt hours of lithium-ion battery cells annually by the end of 2012.”

The company will maintain an office in Westborough, Mass., dealing with “intellectual property development, research and development, global customer support, sales and business development and partnerships with advanced research organizations in the Boston area,” but the vast bulk of its operations were heading overseas as it focused “predominantly on China in both the immediate and longer term.”

Boston-Power had sought around $100 million in a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) $2.4 billion, advanced-battery grant program that was part of the 2009 stimulus. The company planned to use the money to build a manufacturing plant in Massachusetts, but it was not among the companies that received a DOE award [PDF].

Sports columnist, newspaper desk guy, website managing editor, wine-industry PR specialist, freelance writer—Pete Danko’s career in media has covered a lot of terrain. The constant along the way has been a fierce dedication to knowing the story and getting it right. Danko's work has appeared in Wired, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, I’m glad the US didn’t put any DOE funds into them. They were another Solyndra in the making. All talk, minor technology improvements, a market with declining margins – in short a looming disaster.

  • flintlock1949

    One more company run off to China by ouru00a0Government’s focus on “Pie in the sky” Green energy. Batteries to do the job of storing energy produced by “Green Energy” should beu00a0 at the top of the list for development money. A company at the cutting edge of power storage, also,u00a0ought to be at the top of the list for research and development funds! Our Government’s push to put the cart (car) before the Horse (battery pack) creates a product that, asu00a0sales so faru00a0indicate,u00a0few Americans will want – unless our Governments refusal to drill for our own oil allows the price of oil to soar. The only good part of this moveu00a0is that whatever this Company produces in China will likely cost less than if it was developed and produced in America!