Monday, February 8, 2010

EEStor Competitor A123 Systems Asks Uncle Sam for $1Bil

According to a FOIA release from the US Department of Energy, battery manufacturer-in-the-making, A123 Systems (a company whose founder once tried to replicate an EEStor EESU) has applied for $1Bil in loans as part of the 2007 Energy Independence & Security Act. The list of applications for the Department of Energy program is a who's who & who's new of automotive technology including the big 3, Ford ($11 Bil request), Chrysler ($8.5 Bil request) and GM ($11.8 Bil request).

Notably present are previously discussed application listings (with amounts included) from Kleiner Perkins investments Fisker Automotive, V-Vehicle, & Th!nk North America. The combined request of these entities likely exceeds $1Bil making Kleiner one of the largest enthusiasts of using government funding for risky start-up ventures. Kleiner Perkins has
investments in 2 stealth battery companies and EEStor Inc., the pre-eminent stealth energy storage manufacturer in the world. It is interesting to note that the funds Fisker apparently applied for were smaller than those they received.

I've written before about the close ties Kleiner Perkins has to the Obama administration including John Doerr's role on the Obama Economic Recovery Board. Needless to say, the close collaboration and gobs of cash and loans ending up under Kleiner's control should be a cause for concern especially with the publicly unresolved issue of EEStor Inc. floating around in the background.

Some of the disclosure documents were redacted based on FOIA exemption 5 USC 552(b) (4) which exempts from disclosure "trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential." Kleiner Perkins investment Think North America chose this option.

FOIA Request Courtesy of EEStor Mad Man, RT!