A123Systems Adds $30M for Battery Tech

When a company is developing battery technology for eco-chic plug-in hybrid vehicles (including work on converted plug-in Priuses), it’s not hard to become a well-known name in the cleantech industry. And being high-profile is helpful when it comes to raising funding — this afternoon the six-year-old Watertown Mass.-based company A123Systems said it’s raised another round of $30 million, in part to increase production capacity of its lithium ion battery technology for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and extended-range electric vehicles.

This latest investment brings the company’s total funds to $132 million. Investors include a long list of well-known companies like General Electric (GE), Procter & Gamble (PCG), Alliance Capital, Motorola (MOT), Qualcomm (QCOM), North Bridge Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, CMEA Ventures, FA Technology Ventures, OnPoint, Carruth Management, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Desh Deshpande, the company’s chairman.

Hybrid vehicle batteries are a newer market for A123 and the company only made its hybrid and electric vehicle technology available for orders from car manufacturers earlier this year. In August, General Motors (GM) said A123 would be one of three companies that it would work with to develop batteries for the Volt. Last May, A123 also bought a hybrid plug-in conversion company called Hymotion.