Headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, A123 Systems, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and sells advanced, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and battery systems. They do this for the transportation, electric grid services, and consumer markets. Founded in 2001, A123 Systems built their proprietary nanoscale electrode technology on initial developments from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A123 Systems, Inc. believes that lithium-ion batteries will play an increasingly important role in facilitating a shift toward cleaner forms of energy. They have developed a broad family of high-power lithium-ion batteries and battery systems using their innovative approach to materials science and battery engineering. Their low impedance Nanophosphate electrode technology provides performance advantages over alternative high power technologies.
Nanophosphate is a positive electrode material of excellent rate capability, critical to high power systems. A123 Systems, Inc.’s high power products are able to pulse at discharge rates up to 100C. They are of a low impedance and thermally conductive design. A123 high power cells can be continuously discharged at a 35C rate.
They designed their cell and electrodes to deliver low cost/watt and cost/watt-hour performance. They have higher voltage than other long-life systems, enabling lower pack cost (when compared to LTO and NiMh). In addition, their long life leads to reduced lifecycle and system costs.
The Company designed their Nanophosphate™ technology to be highly abuse tolerant. They have multiple layers of protection employed at the chemistry, cell, and pack level. This is to achieve an energy storage solution with superior safety and abuse tolerance compared to metal oxide lithium ion. A123 Systems projects their batteries to last up to 10 years. They are suitable for automotive applications including hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).