The next generation of the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid looks to be important for Mazda and Subaru as well. Toyota will likely need to sell more of the new plug-in hybrid to meet stricter ZEV standards in California. That means it will get more extra electric range, as customers have been asking for. Subaru and Mazda will also have to adhere to the California standards beginning in 2018. Those two smaller automakers will likely license a plug-in hybrid powertrain from Toyota in order to fulfill compliance. Read more at Green Car Reports.

Tesla is partnering with Dalhousie University to improve battery technology. Tesla signed a five-year research agreement with Dalhousie's Jeff Dahn, a lithium-ion battery researcher. Dahn and the 25 researchers in his lab will work with Tesla's Director of Battery Technology, Kurt Kelty, to increase capacity through improved materials. The collaboration could be important both for Tesla's automotive and stationary batteries. "Our research group's goal is to increase the energy density and lifetime of Li-ion batteries, so we can drive down costs in automotive and grid energy storage applications," says Dahn. Read more from Dalhousie University.

Nomadic Power is receiving a European Commission grant worth €2 million (about $2.26 million) for trailer-mounted mobile batteries. Nomadic Power's mobile batteries, called Nomads, have incorporated photovoltaic systems and can be used to extend the electric driving range of a plug-in vehicle, or to provide backup power to a home. The Nomads use an intelligent energy management system to learn and predict user behavior and manage the solar system based on weather forecasts. "We see a strong future in electric-powered mobility and an increasing use of renewable energy, photovoltaic power in particular," says Nomadic Power CEO Dr. Manfred Baumgaertner. "Our mobile batteries have great potential in these markets that recently got a significant shot in the arm by Tesla's announcements." Read more from Nomadic Power, and at Green Car Congress.

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