Should A123’s battery technology be sold to China?

Should A123’s battery technology be sold to China?

Sure, many of the noise about the sale of the federally subsidized American company to some Chinese high bidder is political, but you will find legitimate concerns, too.

Should a united states company sustained by the American taxpayer towards the tune of $249 million be sold to the Chinese for almost that same amount ($256 million)? Republicans are raising questions that could derail the attempted sale to the highest bidder in federal bankruptcy court. We are concerned, says U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), and Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) desire a federal review with the committee that oversees foreign investment in the U.S.

The company, Boston-based A123 Systems, was once the shining light from the Obama administration’s $2 billion-plus stimulus funding for the battery industry. A123 may be the supplier for your Chevrolet Spark EV along with the Fisker Karma, and fields nanotech-enabled chemistry licensed by MIT. But the company (which collected only $133 million from the $249 million awarded) declared bankruptcy right before the election, and avoided being a political football then only because both Republicans and Democrats have supported the organization.

The Obama administration might prefer this video not be freely entirely on YouTube, as it shows Democratic politicians waxing lyrical concerning the great days coming with the opening of your A123 battery factory: LiMnO2 Batteries

A123 was considered prone to visit long-established American battery leader Johnson Controls, a procurement that wouldn’t happen to be controversial. But China’s Wanxiang Group, a significant parts supplier, was the top bidder for A123’s auto and commercial business (the military work was spun off separately). Uh oh. Exactly what do perform now? The initial hurdle is approval from a federal bankruptcy judge.

This issue is more difficult laptop or computer seems, since the actual buyer was Wanxiang’s American arm, which employs 3,000 card-carrying citizens. Remember that Nissan was a major person receiving federal funding to create the Leaf, both the car as well as battery pack, in Tennessee instead of Japan. The work creation facets of that are obvious, though there was some grumbling during the time. Fox News became exercised when Fisker headed with a Dane, and making cars in Finland got $528 million from the separate $25 billion fund. But all the federal work had to be performed in the U.S. (Fisker actually spent only $193 million before it bumped into loan repayment issues.) E Bike Battery

A123’s federal funding went to build several brand-new battery plants in Michigan, situated in Livonia and Romulus (Livonia at left). Presumably, thats where A123 batteries will made, despite Wanxiang’s ownership. The truth is, a review from the Committee on Foreign Investment in america is probably a good suggestion, as it could concur that plan. The $2.4 billion fund was established to ensure that the U.S. receives a slice of the battery business that can probably otherwise visit Asia.

A123’s Michigan factories would seem like a smart investment today if electric car demand was high, however it’s pretty slow, and Fisker (Karma at right) has come across a thicket of difficulties (some linked to batteries, some not). The Chevy Spark isn’t even in production yet, and volumes will tend to be low, at least in the beginning. The sad fact is the fact that battery capacity got pretty far in advance of battery demand something Obama’s lenders could have foreseen.

There’s an element of partisan politics about all this concern from Republicans, however i wouldn’t dismiss their points so easily. Given China’s overall not enough patent protection, it will be possible that A123’s nano batteries will finish up popping up around. Plus, we have a huge trade deficit with China, along with the American taxpayers must not be substituting green tech development there. We’d like it, desperately, here. RC Airplane Battery

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