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A paper by a couple of Swedish researchers figures that the price-per-kWh for lithium-ion battery packs is now $410, down from more than $1,000 in 2007. Economies-of-scale, not chemistry advances, will do the most to get that down to $230 by 2018.

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Hybrid and plug-in vehicle drivers overly satisfied with what they think is their great effect on the environment may want to get a look at a recent and quite long report released by the US Environmental Protection Agency (written by Abt Associates) about the overall effects of lithium-ion battery production and use.

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

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Looks like A123 Systems' range has just been extended by a couple of years.

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The Fisker Karma was recalled late last year because of improper alignment of the batteries' hose clamps, but that was quickly resolved. Today, A123 Systems – the company that makes the Karma pack – announced a replacement program for "battery modules and packs that may contain defective prismatic cells produced at A123's Livonia, Mich. manufacturing facility." The $55 million program will kick off with shipments this week and does not affect any cells, prismatic or cylindrical, made

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The cost for lithium-ion batteries used in electric-drive vehicles will fall by about a third between now and 2017 as battery-production technology improves, lithium supply increases and battery packs are sold in higher volumes, green-technology research firm Pike Research said in a report released this week.

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A123, the battery company that supplies lithium-ion battery packs for companies such as Fisker Automotive, BMW and General Motors, will produce battery packs for hybrid-electric buses made by Tata Motors, India's biggest automaker.

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Is battery longevity a legitimate concern? You bet it is.

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Last Friday, $95.5 million in stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Energy helped open Saft's 16th facility worldwide. This factory, referred to by Saft as the world's most advanced automated lithium-ion battery site, is located in Jacksonville, FL.

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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.

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Automotive supplier Bosch says it will build a pilot production line in Eisenach, Germany to develop and manufacture future generations of lithium-ion cells. Bosch says the line will produce samples for trial purposes in late 2012 and then expand until it can hit an annual production volume of more than 200,000 cells by 2015.

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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

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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.

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The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) – a research collaboration between Chrysler, Ford and General Motors – has awarded LG Chem Power a $9.62-million development contract to focus on reducing the cost of lithium-ion battery packs for plug-in hybrid vehicles with 40 miles of electric-only range (PHEV 40).

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