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With as much as 60,000 barrels of oil pumping into the Gulf of Mexico every day, it seems like the next generation of alternative-fuel vehicles can't get here soon enough. Much hope has been pinned on forthcoming electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf to help wean us off fossil fuels. Yet despite all the advances in battery technology, electric-vehicle batteries remain expensive. But why?

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Sakti3, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company that develops lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles, has secured additional funding worth an additional $7 million that will help them expand production facilities and develop new technologies.

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It's likely that at some distant point in the future, lead-acid starter batteries will go the way of the dodo, at least in green cars. The fact is that newer technologies like nickel metal hydride and lithium ion are much lighter than the lead-acids currently underhood of nearly every car in the world. Still, advancements in lead-acid technology are being made, and as more and more vehicles begin demanding more from their batteries, the humble lead-acid battery is changing with the times. For in

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Cobasys, A123 Systems, Firefly, Altair Nanotechnologies, Johnson Controls, Saft Advanced Power Solutions. AutoblogGreen readers know these names and the high-tech batteries the companies' engineers are working on, but USA Today is introducing them to the Average American in near-hyperbolic terms: as rock stars.

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As we mentioned the other day, Firefly Energy is setting out to change the way we think of lead-acid batteries. Mil Ovan, Firefly Energy co-founder, spoke with AutoblogGreen about this new battery technology and what it might mean for PHEVs and EVs.

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