Reporting Anthony Silva
BOSTON (CBS) – Two well-known Massachusetts battery companies have landed lucrative contracts with Chinese companies.
A123 Systems of Waltham has signed an agreement with Wanxiang Group of China that could lead to as much as $450 million in investment.
A123 CEO David Vieau says it’s a non-binding memorandum of understanding, but calls it a significant step in the process. Vieau calls the investment critical, saying it could help the company compete on a global scale.
A123 has been searching for strategic alternatives, since the company had to replace some faulty batteries made at its plant in Michigan.
Another local battery maker, Boston-Power, has announced an agreement to supply electric vehicle batteries for Beijing Automotive Industry.
The state-run car maker already makes electric Mercedes and Hyundai vehicles.
In an earlier interview, Boston-Power founder Christina Lampe-Onerud told me this is all about a transition for the company.
“If we do this right, this will be a very large company in the next few years,” she said.
Lampe-Onerud says Boston-Power is using Chinese funding to expand the company internationally.
“(China) took three years to get to know Boston-Power,” she continued. “We have a seat at the table as China is thinking about global policies.”
Lampe-Onerud says her transition out of the company may be completed next month.