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A new study finds that automakers will be changing direction when it comes to vehicle electrification – less focus on electric vehicles and more emphasis on hybrids. Industry consultant Dr. Menahem Anderman interviewed automakers and battery makers and is forecasting electric vehicles, plug in hybrid electric vehicles and hybrids will see growth through 2020, with hybrids taking the lion's share.


Price increases are common in the automotive industry so the recent $2,500 jump in prices for upcoming Tesla Model S vehicles wasn't exactly a surprise. Still, most vehicle MSRPs don't go up two-and-a-half grand, and so to explain why the price for the award-winning electric vehicle was so "high," George Blankenship, Tesla vice president of worldwide sales and ownership experience, has written on the company blog with numbers and details.


Chrysler hasn't exactly been in a leadership role when it comes to, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Disbanding the ENVI group in 2009 sure didn't help. Plug-in vehicle development continued, though, but the company's PHEV's are now facing another obstacle: overheating. Fortunately, this hasn't meant battery fires, but the overheated battery systems mean that Chrysler is temporarily pulling 109 trucks and 23 minivans out of a fleet testing program.


For the third-generation hybrid system powering the Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid, Ford expects to be using about 500,000 pounds a year less of expensive and uncommon rare earth metals. Reduction of rare earth metals in the lithium-ion batteries and the hybrid system's electric machines lowers vehicle costs as Ford ramps up its production of hybrids and electric vehicles over the next years, allowing the automaker to offer more affordable, fuel-efficient vehicle choices to customers. Of course,


For the first time ever, South Korean manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries slipped past their Japanese counterparts to grab hold of the most substantial wedge of the li-ion segment. The shift took place in the April-June period, according to report by the Nikkei.


The automotive industry – more specifically, plug-in vehicles – will be the driving force for demand for lithium-ion batteries by 2015, surpass the laptop computers that today hold the top spot. That's according to a report from iSuppli, which states that lithium-ion's distinct advantages over other competing types of rechargeable battery chemistries will push it to the top in automotive applications. iSuppli says lithium-ion's lack of memory and availability in multiple shapes makes


According to foreign media reports, the Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation Sony has announced that, come 2015, it will enter the automotive lithium-ion battery segment. Sony says that with domestic and foreign automakers gearing up to launch numerous plug-in vehicles, it will soon be the right time to get ready to join the fray.


The limited availability of batteries has long been one of the factors keeping the cost of electric vehicles well above that of their gas-powered counterparts, but it may be that we're about to move from drought to deluge. According to the New York Times, the growing capacity of battery manufacturers may shortly outstrip demand and present plug-in vehicle makers with something new: an oversupply of batteries.


Ready for some fighting words? (Literally?) Automotive supplier Bosch is gearing up to "battle" other companies for contracts to provide lithium-ion batteries to automakers for future plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. Bosch board member for sales and marketing Peter Tyroller told Automotive News Europe that Bosch is one of only a handful of corporations that can afford to heavily invest in li-ion battery tech, even though the company knows that the payback period will be long.


A123 Systems is looking to cash in on the emerging stop/start hybrid market with its 12V Nanophosphate lithium-ion battery. Compared to typical lead-acid AGM batteries, A123 says that its li-ion units offer enhanced charge acceptance, which reduces the load on the vehicle's alternator and engine, leading to improved fuel economy. In addition, Jeff Kessen, A123's vice president of automotive marketing and communication, claims that the firm's 12V li-ion battery weighs 60 percent less than a lead-


China BAK, a manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, has signed a contract to supply 20,000 lithium-ion cells to Xidesheng Bicycle, one of China's leading producers of electric bikes (e-bikes).


Robert "Bob" Stempel, semi-retired at an energetic 78, is one of the good guys. Armed with a mechanical engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, he joined General Motor's Oldsmobile Division in 1958 as a chassis detailer and 29 years later was GM president and chief operating officer under then-CEO Roger Smith.


Electrovaya, a developer of lithium-ion battery systems, has announced the launch of a product line targeted at solving the energy storage challenges that utilities are faced with today. Electrovaya's Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage System (LIBESS), a smart grid-capable unit, stores excess electrical energy that flows in during off-peak periods and then cranks out power during times of peak demand


The Nikkei, a Japanese news outlet, reports that Hitachi Ltd. and Ube Industries Ltd. will establish a joint venture to manufacture separators for lithium-ion batteries bound for use in the automotive industry. Apparently, both firms are looking to bolster their position in the battery market and hope to do so by joining forces and achieving economies of scale.


JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation, a subsidiary of JX Holdings, has announced that it will invest ¥9.2 billion ($110 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) to substantially increase production of cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries specifically engineered for the plug-in vehicle industry. Currently, JX Nippon produces 300 metric tons of li-ion cathode materials per year. However, the mining corporation claims that its output will skyrocket to 5,000 tons annually by 2


Early last month, China's Changan Auto reportedly pulled the plug on its hybrid Jiexun. The cancellation was claimed to have stemmed from the hybrid's abysmal sales. Therefore, it came as somewhat of a surprise to discover that on Tuesday, Changan and LG Chem, a South Korean chemicals company, signed a strategic supply partnership for lithium-ion batteries for the automaker's alternative energy vehicles.

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