Tag: AONEQ

Energy Storage: Why We Need It, Why We Don’t

Energy storage, transmission, and Demand Response cost comparison chart by Tom Konrad It's almost a cliché that there's a "friendly debate" pitting utilities against renewable energy. But concerns on the utility side of the table are real: intermittency, potential destabilization at the feeder level, non-baseload, and peaks in generation that don't necessarily match demand peaks. Today's power infrastructure involves unpredictability in both supply and demand that is extremely difficult to manage. The choice comes down to two options: over-generate so as to not undersupply, or find ways to better...

A123’s Sale Moves Ahead

Doug Young A123 Systems battery cell products (Source: A123) After a stormy 2012 that saw growing trade friction between China and the US, I'm happy to see that 2013 is getting off to a better start with Washington's approval of a potentially sensitive sale of a bankruptcy US technology firm to a Chinese buyer. Many readers will know that I'm talking about the case of A123 Systems (AONEQ), a former high-flying US battery maker that fell on hard times as new energy industries worldwide experienced a broader...

Solar Installations Booming, EV Sales Soar: The Week In Cleantech, 12-15-2012

Jeff Siegel December 10: 47,500 Electric Cars Electric Car Sales Soar. . .Again In case you missed it, Todd Woody over at Forbes reported last week that electric car sales reached a record in November for the fourth consecutive month. Total sales of electric cars for 2012 are now up to 47,500. You can read the entire piece here. Chinese Win Bid for US Battery Maker Well, we thought Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) was going to take the lead on this one. We were wrong. Wanxiang America Corporation has just picked up nearly all...

US Should Approve A123’s Sale

Doug Young A123 Systems battery cell products (Source: A123) In writing this blog, I generally try to keep my own views muted and focus instead on the latest news and what it means for the companies involved. But I'm making one of my occasional exceptions to that rule today to say that the US really should go ahead and approve the sale of bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems (OTC:AONEQ) to a Chinese company, since this deal seems to have few if any national security implications and blocking...

Exide: Many Alliances, Fewer Results

Debra Fiakas Alliance photo via BigStock  Exide Technologies (XIDE:  Nasdaq) is one of the largest transportation and industrial battery suppliers in the U.S., vying for market share with Johnson Controls (JCI:  NYSE) and EnerSys (ENS:  NYSE) among others.  Batteries are a competitive business, even as the automotive sector has attempted a recovery from the 2008 free fall in new car sales.  Electric vehicle and renewable energy storage applications have helped expand addressable market.  However, for a conventional battery producer capturing a share of these...

Tax Payer Investment in Advanced Batteries

by Debra Fiakas CFA For better or worse various government agencies in the United States have provided significant financial support for advanced battery development and production.  The federal government has a goal of deploying one million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by the year 2015.  The replacement of gas-burning cars and trucks is expected to reduce economic dependence upon foreign oil and reduce carbon emissions that threaten our health and climate.  We all understand this line of reasoning. Public funds for battery development have been channeled through a mix of contracts for products and services, research grants, loan...

Bankruptcies (A123,Satcon) and Life After (Solyndra): The Week In Cleantech, 10-19-2012

Jeff Siegel and Tom Konrad October 14: Is a Heating Oil Crisis Coming? Heating Oil Furnace.  Photo by Tom Konrad “People still use heating oil?” Those were the words said to me by a friend of mine who's spent 41 of his 45 years on earth in Southern California. To be honest, I'm not sure he's ever even seen an oil delivery truck. But here in the Northeast, there are still plenty of folks that rely on heating oil. Particularly those living in older homes in the cities,...

The Wanxiang Transaction Is Not Necessarily A Permanent Solution For A123’s Problems

John Petersen On Wednesday A123 Systems (AONE) announced the execution of a Non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with the Wanxiang Group that will, if successfully implemented, restore A123 to a sound financial footing. Since the basic deal terms are a good deal more complex than the reports one reads in the mainstream media, I think a drill down into the detail may be helpful for investors who want to understand what a restructured A123 will look like. The critical document for this analysis is the MOU included as Exhibit 99.2 to A123's recent report on Form 8-K. The...

Will A123’s Batteries Make the Great Leap from Design Bench to Store Shelf?

by Debra Fiakas CFA In my last post Paper Power I outlined the attempt to develop a battery using carbon nanotubes and paper.   The materials seemed a bit unbelievable and it sent me into the history books to look at the battery.  In the mid-1700s Ben Franklin may have been the one who first coined the term battery to describe the capacitors had strung together for his experiments.  We all know about the scientist, turned politician.  What is less well known is that the ancients may have also attempted a battery-like instrument now called the “Baghdad Battery.” ...

One, Two, Three Uses for A123’s New Batteries

Tom Konrad CFA  A123 Systems battery cell products (Source: A123) A123 Systems′ (NASD:AONE) announcement of a new battery technology able to operate at both extremely high and low temperatures has the  headline writers dreaming of cheaper electric cars. Electric cars may be dreamy, but they are just one application of the technology.  There are at least two more, with significant near term potential. 1. Is it really about electric vehicles (EVs)? Sure, it would be nice to be able to trim $600 of the price tag of a Tesla (NASD:TSLA) Model...

Micro-hybrids And The Multi-Billion Dollar Battery Battle

John Petersen Last week the stock of A123 Systems (AONE) soared 52% in a day after it announced that an enhanced chemistry would improve the cold and hot weather performance of its LiFePO4 batteries, reduce the need for ancillary temperature control systems and make them more competitive in a rapidly evolving micro-hybrid battery market that's dominated by lead-acid battery manufacturers like Johnson Controls (JCI) and Exide Technologies (XIDE). Investors seem to understand that micro-hybrids will generate several billion dollars of incremental annual revenue for battery manufacturers by 2015, but they haven't quite figured out who the winners will...

Two Perspectives on A123, Solar’s Strong Showing in Q1: The Week In Cleantech: 6-15-2012

Jeff Siegel and Tom Konrad June 11: A trade complaint may filed against Chinese solar manufacturers in the EU TK: The EU is still a much larger market than the US, which already has countervailing duties.  China's largest panel makers, will likely shift their focus to China's domestic market while boosting production.  More here. June 12: A123 (AONE) announces battery new technology TK: A123 (NASD:AONE) says their new Nanophosphate EXT technology will allows lithium ion batteries to operate at extreme temperatures, eliminating the need for liquid cooling systems in EVs, and reducing the cost...

Tesla’s Gift Box – Inefficiency Wrapped in Hype

John Petersen Congratulations! You've been appointed Energy Czar for the island of Self Sufficiency; a wonderful place that can satisfy the bulk of its energy needs from domestic resources, but needs to import gasoline for a 10,000-unit automobile fleet that gets replaced at a rate of 1,000 cars a year. The island's battery factory can manufacture 45,000 watt-hours of lithium-ion batteries each year and depending on how they set the machines; the factory can make high-power batteries for HEVs or high-energy batteries for EVs. Your mandate as Energy Czar is to minimize Self Sufficiency's fuel imports and...

Anti-Hype in Lithium-ion Batteries Foretells Doom for Electric Cars

John Petersen Despite billions of dollars in private investments and public subsidies, lithium-ion battery technology has progressed at a snail's pace for years and battery developers have recently started to emphasize the importance of baby steps. For the first time in memory, anti-hype is becoming a dominant theme in stories about lithium-ion batteries. Examples from this month include: An interview with Wards Auto where the business manager of the DOE's Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center explained that it takes about ten years to put a battery innovation into production and all of today's...

Stop-Start Realities and EV Fantasies

John Petersen Last week Johnson Controls (JCI) released the results of a nationwide survey that found that 97 percent of Americans are ready for micro-hybrids with stop-start idle elimination, the most sensible automotive innovation in years. A micro-hybrid turns the engine off to save fuel and eliminate exhaust emissions when it's stopped in traffic and automatically restarts the engine when necessary. While the overwhelmingly positive consumer response didn't surprise me, JCI's short-term growth forecast for micro-hybrids did. I've been writing about the rapidly evolving micro-hybrid space since 2008 and during that time the market penetration forecasts have...

EVs are a Struggle for A123, but Aptera is Back and They Thrive in...

Jeff Siegel and Tom Konrad CFA May 14: New Flyer (TSX:NFI, OTC:NFYEF) Sees Bus Market Revival North America's largest supplier of heavy-duty transit buses sees overall demand at an "all-time high." More here. May 15: Electric Car Battery Company Struggles JS: A123 Systems (NASDAQ:AONE) has announced Q1, 2012 results. . . Revenue fell 40% from $18.1 million in Q1, 2011 to $10.9 million. Net loss came in at $90.8 million, compared to a net loss of $53.6 million last year, and as of March 31, the company has $113.1 million in...