Under a new framework agreement, a feasibility study is being carried out by A123 and SAIC Motor to define the business plan and required investment for a jointly developed battery manufacturing facility in China.

The battery manufacturing facility is expected to serve the local market, with an initial focus on transportation.

The expansion follows the existing partnership between A123 and SAIC Motor that was established in 2009 with the formation of Advanced Traction Battery Systems (ATBS), a battery pack joint venture (JV) company.

In support of ATBS, SAIC and A123 are evaluating the feasibility of a manufacturing JV to build a coating and cell assembly facility in China that will produce A123’s 20Ah prismatic cells, which is expected to create a cost advantage for A123’s technology in the Chinese market.

A123 Automotive Solutions Group vice president Jason Forcier said through the partnership with SAIC Motor, the company has made significant progress in entering China’s passenger and commercial vehicle segments.