China-based automaker SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. has expanded its partnership with A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of lithium-iron-phosphate batteries and systems.
In 2009, A123 and SAIC formed their Advanced Traction Battery Systems joint venture, which focuses on battery-pack development. The expanded partnership is aimed at completing a feasibility study to define the business plan and required investment for a jointly developed battery manufacturing facility in China.
‘A123 has proven to be a strong partner for SAIC, including as the supplier of lithium-ion battery systems for three of our electric vehicles – the Roewe 750 hybrid-electric sedan, the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid-electric sedan and the Roewe E50 battery-electric vehicle,’ says Chen Zhixin, executive vice president of SAIC. ‘Expanding our partnership should provide SAIC with an even broader opportunity to benefit from the increasing demand for advanced lithium-iron-phosphate battery solutions.’
In 2011, SAIC's total auto production exceeded 4 million units.