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Intensifying price competition from South Korean battery manufacturers has driven Sanyo Electric Co. and GS Yuasa Corp. to dissolve their long-standing lithium-ion battery joint venture (JV). According to a joint announcement, the liquidation of the Sanyo GS Soft Energy Co. JV was inevitable as the venture had posted net losses for two years running. The decision to dissolve the JV may hinder Sanyo's ability to collect loans valued at 4 billion yen ($47.5 million U.S. at the current exchange rat

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By now we're all aware that the environmental impact of cars and trucks goes well beyond the emissions produced during operation. There is the energy used to produce and dispose of the vehicles and their components, for example, and the cost of getting the fuel for the vehicles out of the ground and into the tank. The impact of making nickel metal hydride batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) was the center-piece of a controversial study published by CNW several years ago. That study

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If there's ever going to be a green car cage match, we can guarantee that one of the fighters will be Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who apparently can't pass up the chance to take on any competitor. His latest target? The lithium-ion battery pack in the Nissan Leaf, about which Musk had some critical things to say in a conference call with investors this week.

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Carmakers don't typically ask prospective customers how long the warranty should be on their new car. That decision is usually made based on how much the manufacturer thinks longer warranty coverage will cost and what its competitors might be doing. However, as we enter the era of electrification we are dealing with a major new factor: the battery packs.

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Chevrolet Volt battery pack – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Chevrolet Volt battery pack – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Chevrolet Volt battery pack – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Later today, General Motors will make some announcements* regarding the battery pack in the Chevrolet Volt. Volt marketing director Tony DiSalle and vehicle line director Tony Posawatz will be hitting the keyboards this afternoon to answer any questions from readers about the news. General Motors' massive battery lab in Warren, MI has been cycling battery packs for more than two years through accelerated tests in order to have confidence that the packs will last for 10 years and 150,000 miles. A

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As several countries vie for the top spot in the automotive rechargeable battery market, a few front-runners have emerged. Notably, China's push to lead the world in advanced battery technology has propelled the nation towards the front. The efforts here in the States have kept the U.S. in the running for top honors and you certainly can't overlook South Korea and Japan. As each country competes to rule the roost, more and more government money has been dished out to fund the advanced battery ef

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Back in the early 2000s, when the first-generation modern electric vehicles (EVs) were available in limited quantities in places like California, most automakers were skeptical of their own technology and so took the EVs back after the leases ran out, crushing them and creating a lot of ill will in the process. Today, automakers are much more confident in the updated plug-in vehicle technology, but not everyone thinks EVs are worth a damn. A columnist for the right-leaning UK paper The Daily Ma

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Norwegian electric vehicle builder Think has finally launched production of the lithium-ion battery version of its City EV. The 22 kilowatt-hour battery pack is being supplied by Indiana-based Enerdel which owns an equity stake in Think. Enerdel is now in full volume production of the new battery pack which, should allow Think to ramp up vehicle production and expand into continental Europe and then the United States later this year.

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A recurring question in the plug-in vehicle world goes something like this: When an electrical vehicle (EV) battery can no longer provide adequate power and range in its primary role of propulsion, then what? More specifically, what else are these partially spent batteries still capable of powering? We've heard a myriad of possible uses for them – everything from vending machines to mobile generators – but most of us are more interested in using these hunks of li-ion to someho

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The phrase "the Saudi Arabia of X" is not unheard of in the green car industry, with Shai Agassi telling Australia to become the Saudi Arabia of plug-in cars and Bolivia having the potential to become the Saudi Arabia of lithium. Bolivia might soon have some competition for that title with the recent Pentagon announcement that Afghanistan could have as much as $1 trillion worth of untapped mineral deposits and maybe the world's largest lithium deposits. The Pentagon report even says outright tha

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EnerDel Inc. announced plans to open li-ion battery plants in both China and Europe in an effort to triple its battery production by the end of 2011 and meet the expected demand of new partnerships. Though the company currently holds deals with just two automakers (Think and Volvo), it plans to announce two additional customers by the end of the year, one hailing from Europe and the other from Asia.

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Ford Focus Electric battery packs – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Nissan Leaf factory rendering – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Safety is a common concern as the automotive industry moves towards electric vehicles. In particular, focusing on the potential risks involved with li-ion battery technology is crucial as automakers move away from NiMH packs and towards li-ion storage.

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