Schematic of a Johnson Matthey Battery Systems designed PHEV battery in a Jaguar XJ-e development vehicle, utilising A123 Systems cells and modules
Another part of A123 Systems was sold off as Johnson Matthey recently completed acquisition of A123’s cathode materials manufacturing facility in Changzhou, China.
A123 Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wanxiang Group, sold this facility to rationalize its supply chain. A123 retained ownership of its intellectual property in battery materials.
Johnson Matthey will still produce A123’s Nanophosphate formulation of lithium iron phosphate cathode materials exclusively for A123 under a long-term supply agreement, but will also work with A123 and other customers in the lithium ion cell industry to develop and commercialize a range of advanced battery materials.
Jason Forcier, CEO of A123 Systems stated:
“This deal is good for both companies as A123 seeks to rationalise its supply chain while Johnson Matthey can leverage its substantial experience in the manufacturing of specialised materials. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with the Johnson Matthey team.”
Commenting on the transaction, Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey, remarked:
“This acquisition marks a further step in the development of Johnson Matthey’s battery technologies business. It will strongly complement our battery systems expertise and battery materials research programmes to provide a stronger platform for the development of next generation higher performance products that can meet the challenging energy storage requirements of batteries for the automotive sector.”
Johnson Matthey is quietly expanding into the battery market, as earlierthe company acquired Axeon - now Johnson Matthey Battery Systems, supplier of batteries for various carmakers, including Jaguar.
"Johnson Matthey Battery Systems will maintain its position as a cell-independent system designer, selecting the most appropriate cell chemistry to meet the needs of each application. The LFP manufacturing assets of A123 together with Johnson Matthey’s materials expertise and experience in battery system development provide a powerful combination of applications engineering, materials science and electrochemistry."