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Powering the future, electric batteries and fuel cells in focus

|Includes: A123 Systems, Inc. (AONEQ), BRK.A, BRK.B

The $371 million IPO of lithium battery maker A123Systems was the largest of last year, according to a report from Dow Jones VentureSource. Investors definitely had confidence in the company on September 24, 2009, and that morning A123 (NASDAQ:AONE) more than 50 percent to close at $20.29 per share after pricing at $13.50 per share.

First off, A123 Systems’ lead makes the IPO prospects for greentech firms, and particularly electric vehicle companies, in 2010 look pretty good. The IPO market in 2009 was still very “anemic,” points out Dow Jones VentureSource. A123 Systems represented about a third of the overall IPO market in 2009 (about $900 million in all of 2009, see graphic below)

. BYD Co., (1211.HK) the Chinese auto- and battery maker backed by Warren Buffett, may sell a rechargeable electric car in the U.S. as soon as this year to meet demand for fuel-efficient models, the company’s founder said.

“The U.S. is a very important market for BYD in the future, and the electric vehicle is our future,” Chairman Wang Chuanfu said yesterday in an interview at the Detroit auto show. “We will start toward the market in the second half.”

Starting U.S. sales in 2010 would accelerate the timetable BYD set last year, when the Shenzhen, China-based automaker targeted a 2011 debut. Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns a 10 percent stake in the company.

 Neah Power Systems, Inc. (’Neah’) (OTCBB:NPWZ), the Company developing fuel cells-based renewable energy solutions, announced that it is taking orders for its Infinity eLTM series fuel cells as stand alone products as well as integrated solutions and are available in 25W, 50W, 75W and 100W sizes. These fuel cells provide 400 Whr per cartridge; with instant re-charge capability based on swapping out cartridges and will provide 12V DC output, which can also be tailored for specific applications.

“This is a significant occasion for the company to have demonstrated constant operation for excess of 2,000 hours and see the fruits of $40M of research and development in such a compelling way. Neah enables our customers with the superior power density, anaerobic functionality, and cost effective manufacturing capability of our products to meet their critical power needs,” said Dr. Chris D’Couto, President and CEO of Neah Power.


Disclosure: Long, BRK.A, BRK.B, NPWZ