Battery Maker Boston Power Secures $250 Million In Funding – Plans For Giga Factory To Compete With Tesla
From the early beginning (ten years ago), Boston Power had solid technology with energy density exceeding 200 Wh/kg on the cell level and a wide operating temperature range.
A few years ago, after securing over $100 million from venture capital, Boston Power moved most of its operation to China, where in 2013 it launched a newly built lithium-ion battery plant (for cells, modules, packs and systems) located in Liyang Zhongguancun Science & Technology Zone, Jiangsu Province. At the time, Boston Power stated that the new facility would more than double the company’s current Asian-based manufacturing capacity (whatever this means).
Today, we learn that the annual capacity of Boston Power’s factory is about 300 MWh. This is about 3,500 85 kWh battery packs for Tesla Model S. Why such comparison? Well, just because the WSJ article indicates that with a new $250 million injection from investors, Boston Power would like to compete with Tesla Motors’ Gigafactory.
Sonny Wu, Boston Power’s chairman and acting chief executive stated:
“Somebody has to compete with him [Elon Musk],”
“Mr. Wu declined to name the investors in the Boston-Power financing, saying they are Chinese and global institutional investors. A person familiar with the situation said that the investor roster includes a Chinese bank that will likely help provide credit to Boston-Power as the company plans to build two more factories.”
Boston Power plans to triple its manufacturing plant output to ~ 1 GW in 2015, while this year sales are expected to reach $100 million. This is still far from the 35 GWh from the Tesla Gigafactory, but the Gigafactory will not produce that many cells anytime soon.
In the near term, Boston Power is considering IPO in the US, which potentially would make it the largest in lithium-ion battery manufacturer to do so since A123 Systems’ IPO. Success probably depends primarily on finding customers among Chinese carmakers.
“Mr. Wu said that he expects Boston-Power to become profitable “in a couple of years.””
Source: The Wall Street Journal