Your Tax Dollars At Stake: Battery Maker A123 Running Out Of Runway

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
your tax dollars at stake battery maker a123 running out of runway

The irrational electrification exuberance claims another victim: Battery maker A123 Systems Inc is running out of money. A lot of it is your money. Says Reuters:

The company, which received a $249 million grant from the Obama administration as part of a program to develop advanced lithium-ion batteries, said in documents filed with U.S. regulators that it “expects to have approximately four to five months of cash to support its ongoing operations” based on its recent monthly spending average.”

Reuters views A123’s issues as “a reminder of the struggles for a U.S. electric-vehicle industry still in its infancy and dealing with lower-than-projected demand.”

The wire service calls President Barack Obama’s goal of getting 1 million battery-powered vehicles on the road by 2015 “a target that is looking increasingly unrealistic.”

America’s best-selling plug-ins, the Volt, the plug-in Prius and the Nissan Leaf jointly sold 2,990 units in June. They were out-sold by a small sports car targeted at drifters, the Toyobaru hachi-roku, which sold 3,502 units in June.

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  • Chuckrs Chuckrs on Jul 08, 2012

    Many commenters are conflating energy storage and energy production. Batteries store energy, but if you don't like coal and you don't like nukes then chances are almost 2 in 3 that you don't like the source from which the energy stored in a pure battery car is actually produced. Not true of a hybrid with regenerative storage of energy produced by gas, which of course, many people also don't like. edit - just after posting, I read a link from Instapundit that natural gas produced as much electricity as coal in April... well, some people don't like fracking.

  • El scotto El scotto on Jul 08, 2012

    There is no one magic bullet for alternative energy. There's not enough available land to have enough solar or wind to free us from oil. There's not enough arable land to grow enough corn for ethanol production. Sorry to bust someone's well meaning bubble. I'm cheap and the Prius V is looking pretty good to me. The ability to use little gas on long trips and Toyota reliability seems like a good deal. However, most of my electricity comes from coal fired plants. Coal mining, sometimes hill topping, coal fired plants. When you're around me don't wrap yourself in your binkey of smugness and Eco friendliness when your electricity comes from coal.

  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Jul 08, 2012

    "When you’re around me don’t wrap yourself in your binkey of smugness and Eco friendliness when your electricity comes from coal." Sorry but an EV like the Leaf running around on electricty generated by coal is still cleaner than any Prius. And there are people currently generating more electrical power with the solar panels on the roof of their homes then they use in their EV's. Obviously these are extreme cases but it just goes to show you what can be done when you open your mind.

    • El scotto El scotto on Jul 09, 2012

      An EV is not suitable for a great many people, lack of range etc. Hill topping is what incenses me. A coal company will remove a hill top, or half of the hill top to mine the coal and then move on. I used to build solar sited Eco-friendly homes. Some solar panels on the roof? I love how the homeowners mean well but it's more a fashion statement. With the costs of the panels and having their house rewired it will take years to payback the costs of the panels. Now after payback they'll be getting free electricity and that's a good thing. Here on the east coast I could see HOA's dumb enough not to allow solar panels. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. I've seen people come in spouting memes like living off the grid and lowering our energy footprint. They become quite somber when they find out how much their memes actually cost. Thankfully there were some who went through with their plans and paid the costs of an Eco-friendly home; finding the right site, architects, addition wiring/plumbing, extra material costs for the house, etc. Ideally, I'd be living in an Eco-friendly house. Now if I could walk out to my organic garden and get some fresh tomatoes, oh yeah.

  • Cruiser0002 Cruiser0002 on Jul 09, 2012

    Many major power drill manufacturers (ex: DeWalt) have moved away from the A123 cells to less capable ones - this is a crime to humanity akin to putting an anemic 200hp engine in the toyobaru that clearly deserves more. We should be up in arms about this instead of talking about electric cars!