SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Manufacturing Woes Haunt High-Tech Battery Maker
from Nature News
A leading manufacturer of high-performance lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles is struggling to make ends meet. Last week, A123 Systems of Waltham, Massachusetts, announced net losses of US$125 million in the first quarter of the year. Its woes are symptomatic of larger problems facing the battery industry.
"The market for electric vehicles hasn't ramped up as quickly as projected," says Yet-Ming Chiang, a materials scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who co-founded the company in 2001.
The market's sluggishness is in large part because the batteries are still very expensive. Chiang would not disclose the price of A123's batteries, but he says that the industry average is US$500-650 per kilowatt-hour of energy stored. The Nissan LEAF electric car uses a 24-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which would cost $12,000 on the low end--about one-third of the car's selling price, and a lot for consumers to swallow.
Subscribe to Our Content!
Visit our RSS Feeds page to choose among 13 customized feeds, or create a free My AmSci account to request an email notice whenever a specified author, department or discipline appears online.
A free daily summary of the latest news in scientific research. Each story is summarized concisely and linked directly to the original source for further reading.
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns,
and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.
News of book reviews published in
and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the
Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an
online profile, then sign up in the
My AmSci area.
Science in the Media
Magazines and Web Sites:
The Science-Media Intersection: