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European lithium-ion automotive battery manufacturer Axeon has been awarded €3.32 million ($4.72 U.S. at the current exchange rate) to fund research aimed at reducing the weight, volume and cost of batteries that power electric and hybrid vehicles.

In a December 2010 study, Deutsche Bank (DB) analysts revisited some figures posted in its previous report and lowered their projected future costs for automotive batteries. DB's December 2010 study pegged the cost of lithium-ion batteries at $250 per kWh by 2020, a substantial reduction from the $350 per kWh it forecasted back in November 2009. After speaking with industry experts and numerous automakers, the DB team concluded that its November 2009 forecast for li-ion battery costs was out of

Research study says EVs have a tough road ahead

When the Committee on Assessment of Resource Needs for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies put out its report through the National Academies of Science last month – the one that was very critical of plug-in vehicles (PHEVs) – plug-in advocate Felix Kramer issued a quick response that said, in part, that the report's "science and economics need to be refuted." He has since gone and done just that, and his lengthy response is now available on the CalCars website.

At an Automotive Press Association meeting this week, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released the results of a new cost study on battery electric vehicles and it doesn't look good for electric vehicle fans. BCG thinks it is unlikely that the cost of batteries will drop nearly enough to make EVs price competitive with internal combustion vehicles in the next decade without continued tax incentives. The current $7,500 federal tax break for plug-in buyers is unlikely to still be in place by 2020

Renault Fluence Zero Emissions Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

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