WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) -- A123 Systems said Thursday that it has struck a deal to supply batteries to Fisker Automotive for the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle expected to be launched late this year.
The two also will collaborate on Fisker's Project Nina platform with the goal of having A123 supply batteries for that vehicle, which should be released in 2012.
The Karma is expected to have a range of 50 miles on a charge of A123's lithium ion battery system and a total range of 300 miles with an on-board generator turned by a four-cylinder gasoline engine.
A123 also said it plans to invest $23 million in Fisher, $13 million in cash and $10 million in A123 stock. A123 said the investment will allow the companies to work closely together to optimize the performance of future vehicles.
A123 plans to make the battery systems for the Karma at its Livonia, Mich., plant near Detroit. Production is expected to begin late this year.
In December, the company closed on a $249 million grant from the Department of Energy and is using the money to make investments in its 300,000-square-foot plant in Livonia to expand final cell assembly capacity.
The expansion will provide A123 with the ability to produce more than 320,000 hybrid vehicles with 1.1 kilowatt hour battery systems or more than 24,000 hybrid vehicles with 15 kilowatt hour battery systems per year.
The company, based in Watertown, Mass., also has leased a new plant in Romulus, Mich., also near Detroit, that will be used for coating operations for the battery systems. Production in that plant is ready to start in the first half of 2011.
A123 stock rose 41 cents to $20.46 in trading Thursday. The shares have traded between $14.31 and $28.20 since they began trading in October.