Boston Power, maker of advanced batteries for electric vehicles, has struck a deal with the Massachusetts state government for $9 million in matching funds to make its new manufacturing facility in Auburn, Mass. a reality. The funds will help get the ball rolling as the company waits for upwards of $100 million in stimulus grants it has applied for through the Department of Energy.
While Boston Power got its start making batteries for smaller applications, like laptops for Hewlett-Packard, it already has models suited to powering vehicles in the pipeline. And it has already landed several partnerships with EV companies to continue development. None of these partners has been named, but the company says it is adapting products to work in plug-in hybrids with 40-mile ranges and all-electric vehicles.
The Auburn plant would be a boon for central Massachusetts, creating up to 600 new, continuous jobs. As the company’s first U.S. facility, it would produce 50 megawatts worth of batteries every month at peak production levels. Ironically, Boston Power already operates several plants in Taiwan and has another in the works in China.
Just like battery companies in competing states like Michigan, Oregon, New York and California (read our coverage of Quallion from yesterday), Boston Power is vying for a slice of the $2 billion in stimulus grants the federal government has set aside for advanced battery makers. The Department of Energy says it has received 165 applications and will announce its selections by July.
Even though its larger capital projects largely depend on government support, Boston Power has brought in a substantial amount of venture funding — $125 million to date from Foundation Asset Management, Oak Investment Partners, Venrock, GGV Capital and Gabriel Venture Partners.