A123 Systems Withdraws from Fiat 500 EV Project

The Detroit Free Press reports that Chrysler is looking for a new battery supplier after A123 Systems withdrew from the Fiat 500 electric vehicle project after the battery maker reported a second-quarter loss of $34.2 million, compared with a loss of $21.9 million a year earlier.

“A123 will not be supplying battery systems for the Fiat 500 EV production program,” said Katie Hepler, a Chrysler spokeswoman. “A123 has been a good development partner in this program and we appreciate their support. We have nothing else to announce at this time.”

Chrysler and A123, a Watertown, Mass., company with a battery plant in Livonia, announced their partnership last March. They planned to start producing an undisclosed number of battery-powered Fiat 500 EVs in 2012 at Chrysler’s Toluca, Mexico, assembly plant where assembly of gasoline engine 500s will begin late this year. A123 CEO David Vieau said a competing supplier came forward who was “willing to buy the business below current market price in a program which has significantly diminished in scale from our earlier expectation.”


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