PowerGenix, a developer and manufacturer of Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) batteries is entering a joint venture with China City Construction Corporation (CCCC), one of the largest infrastructure investment and development companies in China. In the near term, the JV will develop, manufacture and sell advanced batteries for the automotive market and other markets, including markets supporting grid-scale applications.
CCCC is a state-owned enterprise (SOE), and invests more than $12.6 billion per year in urbanization projects. It joins the JV both to support the Chinese government's clean energy initiative and for the growth opportunities the venture affords. This joint venture will initially focus on batteries for the micro-hybrid (start/stop) vehicle market, a market in which the China government is taking aggressive action to minimize the environmental damage generated by the lead-acid battery product. Pike Research projects that the micro-hybrid market will reach 34 million vehicles sold annually by 2015.
Start/stop vehicles are among the most cost effective ways for auto manufacturers to reach their goals and meet the stricter government mandates that are to come. The high power nickel zinc batteries have been optimized to meet the unique needs of this segment. By the end of 2012, the joint venture will have capacity to produce 400,000 auto batteries per year and will enter pilot production in the second half of 2012.