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 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].