Battery Makers Make The Charge

December 22, 2008


There are many different types of batteries on the market, but in the world of hybrid and electric cars, most automakers have set their sights on the Lithium-ion variety. Li-ions are easily rechargeable, they hold charges well, and they produce a nice amount of power for their size--all important criteria for making electric vehicles viable on the roadways.

So far, Asia has dominated the Li-ion production market, but now a group of American companies have formed a coalition to make themselves more competitive against their counterparts in the Far East: the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture (not a catchy name, but at least it's accurate). The NAATBCM represents a range of companies large and small, including 3M, Johnson Controls-Saft, and MicroSun; details of their master plan are still in the works, but it appears they're aiming to create at least one site in the US for group prototyping, R&D, and so on. The cherry on top? Science and engineering powerhouse Argonne National Laboratory has signed on in an advisory capacity.

All that is to say: the group seems to have a lot of strong thinkers in its ranks. We can only hope that brain power translates to battery power fairly soon. -- Richard Read


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