A123 Systems Powering a Sustainable Future: Strategizing in the Advanced Battery Market

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: February 14, 2013
Length: 24 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-302

Core Disciplines: Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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A123 Systems successfully went to market with new technologies that had the potential to revolutionize both the energy storage and electric battery industries. After opening the largest hybrid vehicle battery manufacturing facility in North America, CEO David Vieau needs to evaluate the road forward. Should he try to gain a foothold in established commercial battery markets or pursue the company’s current mission of being the top supplier for grid storage and hybrid vehicles? Was he expanding too fast or not fast enough? Was Asia a potential avenue for future growth, a source of menacing competition, or both?

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Analyze the risks associated with clean-tech start-ups and the battery industry
  • Evaluate the role that the U.S. government and regulation plays in incentivizing the industry
  • Identify the vulnerabilities related with buyer/supplier relationships