A123 Systems LLC, a developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries and systems, recently hosted a grand-opening ceremony to celebrate its new manufacturing facility in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The ceremony took at the Ostrava site where A123 will produce more than 600,000 units of its low-voltage automotive systems annually for European customers.
A123 executives and facility personnel hosted customers, suppliers and senior government officials at the opening ceremony. Dignitaries including the Czech State Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Ambassador to the Czech Republic all took part in touring the facility and addressing the attendees. Representatives from four major European vehicle manufacturers also were in attendance.
In noting A123’s ownership by the Wanxiang Group, H.E. Ma Keqing, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Czech Republic, said, “The investments celebrated today are a perfect European example of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative which is building the 21st century Silk Road between China and its global trading partners.”
The Mayor of Ostrava, Tomáš Macura, also honored A123 by saying that the plant’s establishment would prove to be “a turning point in the rebirth of Ostrava” as the city transforms its economy through new technology-based businesses.
A123’s Ostrava location establishes regional assembly of the company’s advanced 12V Lithium-ion starter battery and next generation 48V battery, which provide environmentally conscious solutions delivering lower emissions and increased fuel economy in low-voltage hybrid systems. The technology also provides lead-free alternatives to conventional automotive batteries. Last month marked the first customer shipment from this new facility along with the installation of a second production line for increased volume. Later this year, A123 will begin production of its 48V programs at this newly established facility.
A123 currently operates manufacturing facilities in China and the United States. The Ostrava facility adds to the existing global footprint and addresses the substantial surge in demand from the European market, the company says. “The opening of the Ostrava plant is a major milestone for A123 and one that we were excited to celebrate with customers, dignitaries and our suppliers,” said Jason Forcier, CEO. “The event itself was a great opportunity to showcase our production capabilities, as well as demonstrate our commitment to the European market, a key element to our continued success.”