BAIC C70.automotiveIT

The C70 is based on the Saab 9-5 platform BAIC bought in 2009 (Photo: Saabworld)

Boston Power will provide lithium-ion batteries to Beijing Electric Vehicle Company (BJEV) in a multi-year agreement that is expected to put thousands of its battery systems in Chinese electric vehicles.

The batteries will first be used in BJEV's C70 sedan, a model that is based on the Saab 9-5 platform BJEV's parent, Beijing Automotive Industry Company (BAIC), bought in 2009. The batteries will then go into a range of other BJEV models and brands.

Boston Power received 125 million dlrs in funding from private equity and from Chinese investors and the battery order reflects the long-standing working relationship between the US battery maker, BJEV and BAIC.

The US company hopes its Chinese connections will help it gain a strong foothold in China, where electric vehicle sales are expected to grow strongly in coming years.

In preparation for this trend, Boston Power is building a Chinese manufacturing facility that will be capable of producing 400 megawatt hours of lithium-ion battery cells annually by the end of this year.

Boston Power is also building a major r&d and EV battery engineering facility in China.

"China is committed to leading the world in electric vehicle innovation, manufacturing, public policy, consumer adoption and export," said Sonny Wu, Boston Power chairman. Boston Power's battery systems "can play a significant role" in helping to achieve those goals, he said.