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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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Michigan is quickly becoming a center of lithium ion battery manufacturing in the United States. Funny thing is, almost none of the companies setting up factories in the state are based there. Sakti3 Inc. wants a piece of that battery pie and it was formed right here in Ann Arbor. Sakti3 is the brainchild of Professor Ann Marie Sastry of the University of Michigan. Sastry's research at the university focuses on two areas: battery materials and manufacturing processes.

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Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla has not been shy about making his bets on the automotive future known. Wherever there has been an opportunity to invest in or promote advanced ethanol, it seems Khosla was there, giving it at least a cursory look (see, for example, Coskata, which GM also invested in). He even described his "big biofuels bet" back in 2006.

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