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A Bailout of Sorts for Battery Makers Too?
Though the Big Three will end up getting their much sought bailout, no one-except, apparently, for Congress and the White House-is under the illusion that the Big Three are on firm footing, especially relative to Toyota, Honda, BMW, and others. Part of the reason behind the Big Three's current ills is that they fell so far behind foreign competitors in developing new manufacturing and propulsion technologies. Well, it turns out that America isn't just behind in making new cars, but also in developing the battery technology that will power the hybrid and electric vehicles of the future. In fact, American companies "are five years behind Asians in [their] ability to manufacture the cells." In order to catch up and overtake foreign competitors, 14 companies have formed an alliance to push for federal funds.
There has been a lot of innovation in advanced battery technology lately. Read on for some of the highlights, and to learn how the new lithium ion battery maker alliance hopes to make America the leader in developing advanced batteries.Lots of Innovation in Lithium-Ion Batteries
Just in the past few months, we've seen a battery life breakthrough that could increase capacity by 800%, the debut of new lithium-ion batteries from HP, and a lithium-ion phosphate breakthrough for hybrids. Unfortunately for American companies, while battery production is soaring, most of the innovation and manufacturing is taking place outside the US.
That's why the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture "plans to introduce a proposal in Congress in January to raise $1 billion to $2 billion for lithium-ion battery manufacturing in the United States." The hope is that such an industry could jumpstart a new domestic auto industry, one based on designing and building the ultra efficient cars and trucks of the future, and powered by American made batteries.
If the new Alliance is to be believed, the future of the domestic auto industry could hinge on the future of the domestic battery industry, for the simple reason that "car manufacturing will eventually move where the batteries are made."
Via: Bits (NY Times Blog)
More on Lithium Ion and Other Batteries
Lithium Polymer Batteries: A review
Google Invests in Aptera Motors and Lithium-Ion Battery Maker
First Lithium Ion Car Battery Factory to Open in France
Nissan and NEC to Make Lithium-Ion Batteries for Hybrids
McCain Proposes Government-Sponsored Prize for Development of Better Battery Technology