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Sometimes, you have to go across the border to get the skinny on what's happening in the US. For example, did you know GM might be testing electric cars with batteries that have about three times the energy density of today's EV?

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Tesla Motors turned the "penny wise, dollar foolish" axiom on its head by staking its lithium-ion battery technology on a more expensive and more complex layout than its competitors, according to Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel in an interview with Bloomberg News.

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It's official: A123 Systems Inc. is passing through its final phase. The bankrupt lithium ion battery maker, now going by the name B456 Systems Inc., has won court approval for its plan to exit bankruptcy that pays off creditors from proceeds gained by selling off virtually all of its assets.

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There are already lithium-ion batteries in some Toyota vehicles (the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the RAV4 EV and the European Prius+, for example), but the company's standard bearer – the non-plug Prius hybrid – still relies on nickel metal hydride (NiMH) cells. But, the future belongs to li-ion, and that's why Toyota will soon increase its production of the higher-energy-density batteries sixfold with an eye to putting them into the Prius at an unspecified point in the future, according t

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If the US would like to stop importing 80 percent of its lithium, mainly from China, and if Bolivian sources don't come through, it looks like there is a big domestic opportunity: Wyoming. Having an ample domestic supply would bring down the price of lithium, which could mean electric vehicles would become more cost competitive.

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Imagine recharging a Nissan Leaf from a standard 110-volt outlet in, say, oh, about a minute. Far-fetched, sure, but at least one research facility thinks it has a lead on making lithium-ion batteries that can recharge 1,000 times faster than current ones.

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Electrovaya, the Canadian lithium-ion battery maker, is ready to go full speed ahead on battery production after cutting its output and improving its technology.

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The mystery of potentially dangerous lithium ion batteries continues to hang over sales of vehicles using this technology. Experts who recently testifyied before the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that failure of the technology has slowed development of electric cars and other applications of the batteries.

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With keywords like lithium-ion batteries, "thermal runaway" and Elon Musk, had we not read any further, we would have figured this story was some disastrous news about Tesla Motors. Instead, it's about airplanes. Specifically, Boeing's new Dreamliner.

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The weather may have cooled off in the Valley of the Sun, but not the sentiments of some Phoenix-area owners of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles.

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Nissan has announced that it is going to offer a bit more security to Leaf owners than soothing words and lemon buybacks when it comes to degrading battery capacity. In a note published on My Nissan Leaf (and available below), Andy Palmer, Nissan's executive vice president, writes about a new enhancement to the "warranty coverage of the battery system that powers the Nissan Leaf."

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Battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with lithium-ion batteries are putting more and more odometer miles on every day. After two years on the market, some of these cars have up to 30,000 miles on them. That's good and all, but there's more to be done to prepare for the long term. General Motors, for example, tested the Chevrolet Spark EV batteries for over 200,000 hours. Ford, too, is looking way down the road, testing what life will be like for li-ion batteries after 10 years a

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To some, a recent offer by Tesla Motors to replace batteries in its Model S all-electric sedan for under $150 per kilowatt hour reflects an extremely futuristic view of improving EV technology. To Plug In Cars, though, the offer is more a reflection of the age-old "bird in hand" axiom.

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Spend a princely sum on a top-of-the-line Tesla Model S, which has an 85-kWh battery pack, and you can get an EPA-certified 265 miles on a full charge. If you opt for the lower-cost (and delayed) 60-kWh version, the EPA has now calculated you'll get 208 miles.

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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.

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Hell hath no fury like a mobile-phone owner scorned.

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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.

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Nissan has been clear that the Nissan Leaf will keep on improving. Exactly how much cheaper the next-gen battery in future versions of the Leaf will be is still carefully protected information, but Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn is making sure that everyone knows a lower-cost Leaf will be here, and soon. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Ghosn said, "There is a second generation of battery coming (online) now...which is less costly than the previous one. We are in a race in which you re

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