Battery Grant Winners!: A123Systems Rakes in $249M

doe-logoThe Obama administration has just named the first group of winners in one of the hottest cleantech programs in the stimulus package, the $2.4 billion Electric Drive Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative, which includes $1.2 billion for battery cell and pack manufacturing facilities. Among the 48 grants being announced today are some big bucks for at least one startup — Massachusetts-based A123Systems, which is taking home $249.1 million — as well as the big automakers General Motors (s GM), Ford (s F) and Chrysler, which will take home about $410 million in grants combined.

It’s significant that A123Systems has snagged one of these first and largest grants in a pool of some 165 applicants, since the program’s goal of getting technology into large-scale production within two to three years, and the requirement for awardees to share costs, tends to tilt the scales away from younger ventures. A123 had requested as much as $438 million under the program, but today’s grant could help bring it one step closer to a long-planned IPO. According to the Department of Energy, today’s announcement “marks the single largest investment in advanced battery technology for hybrid and electric-drive vehicles ever made.”

battery_awardee_listThe government is also throwing its weight behind GM’s Chevy Volt, with funding not only for the Detroit automaker, but also for LG Chem’s Compact Power, the battery cell maker that GM has tapped for its extended-range electric vehicle. To see all of the awardees and the projects that these grants will fund, you can download the list from the DOE at left (PDF). Here’s a quick rundown of some of the notable grants:

  • Johnson Controls: $299.2 million
  • A123Systems: $249.1 million
  • General Motors: $240 million
  • Dow Kokam: $161 million
  • Compact Power, on behalf of LG Chem: $151.4 million
  • EnerDel: $118.5 million
  • Ford Motor: $100 million
  • Saft America: $95.5 million
  • Delphi Automotive Systems: $89.3 million
  • Chrysler: $73 million
  • Polypore subsidiary Celgard: $49.2 million
  • UQM Technologies: $45.1 million
  • Magna E-Car Systems of America: $40 million
  • Exide Technologies with Axion Power International: $34.3 million
  • Smith Electric: $10 million