A123 To Make Batteries for Chrysler Electric Cars

DETROIT (Reuters) – Chrysler LLC on Monday named U.S.-based A123 Systems as the supplier of batteries for its first electric vehicles slated for debut in showrooms 2010.

A123 will supply next-generation lithium-ion vehicles for a range of Chrysler’s electric vehicles under development, and plans a facility in Michigan to manufacture battery cells, modules and packs, the two companies said.

The planned 2010 launch of an electric vehicle would put Chrysler in a race with its larger rival General Motors Corp (GM.N), which plans to roll out the all-electric Chevrolet Volt in November of that year.

Unlike traditional hybrids such as Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T)’s Prius, electric vehicles like those Chrysler and other automakers are rushing to market are designed to use a small fuel-powered engine only to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim, editing by Dave Zimmerman)