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PHOTO CAPTION: Chrysler 200c ENVI could be powered by A123 lithium batteries.

GE Ups Investment in A123 Systems

Latest round brings GE's total investments in the battery maker to $70 million, representing an ownership stake of more than 10%.

Published: 14-Apr-2009

Car-battery maker A123 Systems Inc. is expected to announce Monday that it has raised $69 million as part of its most recent capital campaign, and that primary backer General Electric Co. will gain a seat on the company's board in exchange for its investment.

The infusion will advance the Watertown, Mass., company's plans to build new factories in Michigan to manufacture the lithium-ion batteries, packs and modules it has been developing for the auto industry in recent years.

The boost for A123's plans is good news for Michigan, whose economy has been racked by the crisis in the auto industry, including the government-orchestrated restructuring of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC. Michigan has been bleeding traditional manufacturing jobs in recent years, and the state's governor has been promoting alternative-energy industries as a potential salve.

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