Boston-Power signs up a Chinese customer for its electric-vehicle batteries

Boston-Power Inc., a Westborough company that makes batteries for electric vehicles, announced an agreement Wednesday to provide its batteries to Beijing Electric Vehicle Co.

In a press release, Boston-Power said it is projected that its battery systems will be used in hundreds of electric vehicles starting in 2012 and thousands of electric vehicles by 2014.

The release cited data from Pike Research, which concludes that the market for lithium-ion batteries for transportation will grow from $2 billion annually in 2011 to more than $14.6 billion by 2017.

At one time, Boston-Power had hoped to expand in Massachusetts, but abandoned those plans in favor of China after losing out on $100 million in federal stimulus money a few years ago.

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As of the end of December, Boston-Power the company had raised $155 million from Chinese government and private sources to build a research and development center in Beijing and a plant in the Shanghai corridor, where it will make lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

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