After A123, Battery Makers Take Stock
NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- The failure of
Brian Warshay, an analyst with Lux Research in Boston, told me this week the Chapter 11 filing actually facilitated the company's sale to Johnson Controls (JCI - Get Report), a larger company that will now have the time to make its electric car technology work.
"The technology is good," he said. "They made significant strides. The problem was the cost of production was too high for the current market, except in small niches."
The energy density of lithium-ion batteries, like those at A123, remains one-tenth that of gasoline, notes Warshay, and that's why electric cars are not making the kind of market headway that hybrids like the Toyota Prius are. But there is work being done on higher-density battery technologies, and on cheap low-cost, low-density battery materials that can store solar and wind power for later use on the electric grid.There are successful start-ups in both areas:
In energy density,
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