Power-train engineering consultant Ricardo is partnering with QinetiQ to try bring the cost of lithium ion batteries down so that they can be commercially viable. They have launched a two-year project called RED-LION (reduced cost lithium ion) to try and slash the cost of advanced batteries without degrading performance. In June of 2006 the companies showed off a diesel hybrid demonstrator based on a Citroen Berlingo van but it was acknowledged at the time that the extra cost of the hybrid system needed to be reduced by half to €2,000. Since the battery pack represents one third of a typical hybrid systems cost, that's a good place to start.

[Source: Ricardo, thanks to Domenick for the tip]

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