Troubled Cleantech Companies Find Salvation in China

Machines are used to fabricate batteries at the A123 Systems lithium ion automotive battery manufacturing plant in Livonia, Michigan, 2010. Photograph by Jeffrey Sauger/Bloomberg

Troubled electric-car battery maker A123 Systems, which used a $249 million grant from the U.S. government to build a Michigan factory, is getting rescued by China’s largest auto parts maker in a proposed deal that would give Wanxiang Group an 80 percent stake. It’s only the latest in a series of distressed U.S. cleantech companies snapped up by Chinese investors, and it’s unlikely to be the last.

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