Mass. co. plans 3 battery facilities near Detroit

LIVONIA, MI – The chief executive of an advanced battery company says a nearly $250 million grant from the federal government is a "kick-start" to opening three facilities near
Detroit and making it possible to be competitive in the United States.

A123 Systems Inc. President and CEO David Vieau says the Watertown, Mass.-based company will develop lithium-ion battery technology for Chrysler Group LLC at new facilities in Livonia, Romulus and Brownstown Township.

A123's expansion is made possible by the grant announced Wednesday. It's part of $2.4 billion in grants for 48 projects in 25 states to develop next-generation electric vehicles and batteries.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and other officials visited the Livonia facility on Thursday.