Energy Conversion Devices (ECD Ovonics) is certainly one of the pioneers in green technology. From batteries to solar cells, the company takes a lead role in many automotive pursuits, including converting a Prius gas engine to run on hydrogen.

Bob Stempel, former chairman of General Motors, is the boss at Ovonics and recently detailed the company's hydrogen efforts in addition to offering an update on its battery technology.

Stempel sees hydrogen as a fuel to "do something about CO2." Although he doesn't believe fuel cells are in the immediate future, cars converted to run on hydrogen will be a transition to bigger hydrogen infrastructure. The Prius that the company is testing can about 200 miles using solid hydride storage instead of high-pressure tanks. The Prius engine needs a turbocharger for added power.

With regards to battery technology, Stempel says the next generation nickel-metal hydride battery will see a 30 percent cost reduction, and possibly cut the price in half by 2010. Work also continues work on lithium-ion batteries through the Cobasys subsidiary.

[Source: Gary Witzenburg / The Car Connection]

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