LONDON – Boston-Power Inc., a Massachusetts startup that is developing longer lasting, faster charging lithium-ion batteries aimed mainly at automotive applications, has announced it has raised an additional $30 million in private equity.
The investment follows Boston-Power's September 2011 announcement of $125 million in growth capital and Chinese government stimulus programs – comprising a combination of grants, low-interest loans and related financial and tax incentives – that is being used to scale manufacturing, research and development, and business development activities in China.
The company has now raised about $350 million since its formation in 2005.
The latest round of funding was led by existing investor GSR Ventures. Boston-Power investors Oak Investment Partners and Foundation Asset Management also participated.
Boston-Power recently broke ground on its manufacturing site in Liyang, China. Located in the Shanghai Corridor and scheduled for completion by the end of 2012, the facility is planned to be capable of producing 400 megawatt hours (MWh) of lithium-ion battery cells annually. At the same time, Boston-Power is establishing an R&D and electric vehicle battery engineering facility in Beijing.
Boston-Power's Westborough, Massachusetts-based team is responsible for intellectual property development, research and development, global customer support, sales and business development and partnerships with advanced research organizations in the Boston area.
Today, the depreciation of capacity of a Lithium ion battery for automobile is quite significant. An improvement of the life time will definitely help the proliferation of an e-car or hybrid car in the world. The application area can be expanded to electric charge storage for solar like Gupta said. In addition to lasting and charging, size might be one of the factors that consumers would like to see improvement.
If the battery is really longer lasting and easier to charge, it can revolve the whole E-car market immediately. Right now, I don't think E-car can easily get into mass market in China (at least in China) as the long time wasted in charging is not solved and there is not good enough incentive for people to switch. The Government funding is just a political act while the Chinese will soon has new leadership next year, will they keep on emphasizing this 10-cities-1000-cars agenda?
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