Battery manufacturers are getting earnings season started today after the market close when A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE) announces earnings. Ener1 (Nasdaq: HEV) follows tomorrow with an update on its progress.

A123 Systems
Analysts are expecting a loss of $0.46 per share, and expectations have been declining in recent months. We need to keep an eye on how production ramp is going at Fisker Automotive, BMW, and commercial vehicle partners. A123 has seen the second quarter as an inflection point in the company's results, and we are now five full weeks into the second quarter, so the conference call will tell a lot.

Cash level shouldn't be a concern after the company completed a $253.9 million offering in April, but cash burn will be important. Investors have had a lot of patience with the company's constant cash burn, but that patience will wear thin if A123 doesn't start showing some real progress.

Ener1 anticipates being EBITDA breakeven by the end of 2011, and this is our first view into that progress. Analysts are expecting a loss of $0.07 per share, and if grid storage projects pick up this year, we should see that number falling throughout the year.

Ener1 relies on Th!nk for a lot of revenue right now, and after a slow start to sales, a positive update could boost the stock.

Valence Technology (Nasdaq: VLNC)
The only advanced battery maker to be close to a profit is Valence Technology, which lost just a penny last quarter and has a shot at breaking even this quarter. Analysts are looking for a $0.02 loss right now.

Valence has moved ahead of competitors by focusing on the commercial vehicle market where its customers have ramped up more quickly. It also hasn't overbuilt capacity before demand appeared.

Advanced Battery Technologies (Nasdaq: ABAT)
Another report came out late last week accusing Advanced Battery Technologies of being less than honest. Late in March, Variant View Research posted a scathing assessment, and now Kerrisdale Capital has done the same. There were similar accusations about State Administration for Industry and Commerce filings and Securities and Exchange Commission filings not matching, unreasonable margins, and poor quality products. I would stay far away from this one.

Keep up with battery maker's earnings by adding these companies to our free My Watchlist.