LAKE ORION, Mich.—A new company based in Oakland County, Mich., aims to break into the automotive battery business after acquiring assets from Robert Bosch Battery Systems L.L.C..
American Battery Solutions Inc. is buying Bosch's testing lab assets for high-voltage batteries and taking over the lease on a 40,000-sq.-ft. plant and office complex, to serve as its headquarters, in Lake Orion, according to a news release. It is also purchasing a 172,000-sq.-ft. Bosch plant in Springboro, Ohio.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The deal is subject to closing conditions. The company expects to close on the Lake Orion deal in mid-June and commence operations soon after. It will finalize ownership of the Ohio plant by September.
"ABS will focus on the middle of the spectrum of battery systems value chain, concentrating on module production, pack assembly and customer integration," Subhash Dhar, founder and CEO of American Battery Solutions, said in the release.
Dhar has 35 years of experience in business development and leadership. He is the former CEO of Xalt Energy, a Midland, Mich.-based manufacturer of lithium ion batteries, and serves as a consultant to the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Center for Automotive Research.
He launched the company with a $50 million backing from New York City-based KCK Group. The business aims to provide battery systems to "underserved transportation, industrial and commercial markets, primarily in North American and Europe," Dhar said.
Between the two sites being acquired, there are 15 Bosch employees—five in Lake Orion—who will work for American Battery Solutions, the company said. By the end of the year, it aims to have 50 employees and grow from there.
Bosch disclosed in January that it was closing its Springboro site due to long-term downturns in business and unused capacity space. A year prior, it said it was shifting focus away from battery production and "electing to purchase, not build, battery cells," the company said.
"Bosch remains focused on battery systems as part of our electromobility strategy," spokesman Tim Wieland said in an an email. "The Bosch portfolio includes key components of the electrical powertrain, such as the electric motor, power electronics and battery systems."