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