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Proterra electric bus – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Perhaps a flock-like approach to building lithium batteries for vehicles is what it'll take. A new alliance has been formed between the Argonne National Laboratory and 14 US companies to try and "perfect" li-ion batteries for cars, the lab announced this week. The alliance, called The National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture, will ask for between $1 and $2 billion from the US government over five years to help with the task. Much has been made of the way that Americ

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Al Yousuf, based in the United Arab Emirates, is a large company with holdings in the automotive, computer and boat industries. Late last week, the company announced it would expand its green car tech investments by buying 8 million shares of common stock of Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. Al Yousuf now owns about 21 percent of Altair, up from 14 percent before the purchase. In May, the Al Yousuf Group bought $475,000 of Zap's convertible debt, and Al Yousuf LLC's Eqbal Al Yousuf is chairman of the

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Altairnano's interim president Terry Copeland has moved up to president and CEO, the company announced today. Copeland has been the battery company's interim leader since March, just after previous CEO Alan Gotcher resigned. Copeland has been with Altair Nanotechnologies since November 2007 (when he was vice president of operations for Altair's Power and Energy Group). He also has a long history with the Duracell battery company. Copeland said that Altairnano, which is still in the game to suppl

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Several factors hurt Altair Nanotechnologies' fiscal results in FY07: warranty replacement costs and higher research and development expenses have made the company report a wider loss despite higher revenues. $6.78m worth of warranty expenses and inventory impairment were related to the first-generation battery packs that were sold to Phoenix Motor Cars. As for R&D, costs rose to $15.4m compared to $10.1m in 2006.

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Got a need for speed? Strap on a battery pack and his the track. That's the idea behind the Current Eliminator V, which set a new electric dragster world speed record in the National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) Super Pro class of 153.6 mph at the Speedworld Motorplex drag strip in Tuscon last Saturday. The Current Eliminator V did the quarter-mile in 8.10 seconds at the hands of Dennis "Kilowatt" Berube. The dragster was powered by Altairnano's lithium-titanate battery packs. Berube is a found

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Following Altairnano's not-so-good news the other day (the Motley Fool said its stock "missed the mark"), the company must be pleased to announce some good news. To wit, $7 million worth of federal funds as part of the recently-passed Defense Appropriations Bill. The money will be used by Altair not for vehicles but for an advanced lithium battery and separate sensor programs. Five million is headed towards a U.S. Navy project that is intended to reduce the amount of diesel fuel the military bra

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The popular Motley Fool investment site today published a list of "3 Stocks That Missed the Mark." One of those is the common AutoblogGreen presence Altair Nanotechnologies. Now, AutoblogGreen doesn't get into investment tips or anything like that, but the Fool is not the only one to dampen the good news that Altair puts out. Part of the problem, writes Anders Bylund of the Fool, is that, "One key customer reportedly delayed a $3.2 million order for Altair battery packs while waiting for the fed

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digg_url = 'http://digg.com/offbeat_news/Normal_affordable_electric_cars_don_t_exist'; Sunday's New York Times has an article about the complete lack of a normal electric car the average person can afford. There are smaller vehicles you can buy and you can search Ebay for a good conversion or a RAV4 but the New York Times is essentially correct. If you are a middle class guy with 2.5 kids and you want a four-door sedan, electric car for about $30,000 you are SOL. Here are some quotes from the

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AeroVironment, a company that helps build drones (unpiloted flying machines) for the U.S. military as well as earlier work on vehicles like the Sunraycer and the GM Impact, announced today that its ten-minute recharge demonstration of an Altair Nanotechnologies 35kWh battery pack was successful, and restored enough power to drive the car for two hours at 60 mph. The demo was performed for folks from California Air Resources Board (CARB) at AeroVironment's Monrovia, California Energy Technology C

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On Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Alan Gotcher of Altair Nanotechnologies broke down his company's batteries. Not physically, but verbally and with Powerpoint slides. In a room full of battery experts, Gotcher explained why his company's NanoSafe batteries are the top of the line. No one got up to call him a liar when he described these greatly improved batteries, in part because most of this information has been floating about for a while, and in part because he had the data to back up his claims.

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A few months ago, we first heard word of Altair Nanotechnologies because of an innovative new battery cell design they're now calling NanoSafe. They say that the graphite used in standard lithium-ion batteries is replaced with a nano-structured negative electrode material called nano lithium titanium oxide. The result could very well be ground-breaking.

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