A European consortium known as SmartBatt believes that something critical and essential is missing for pure electric vehicle technology – battery packs that aren't heavy and bulky. Therefore, SmarBatt's objective is to develop an innovative, multifunctional, light and safe energy storage system smartly integrated into electric cars.
Nissan Leaf battery pack - Click above for high-res image gallery
We know that General Motors has the largest battery lab in the world, one that's capable of carrying out all kinds of scientific tests, but that's a little boring, if you ask us. If you want to test a battery's durability, do you really need fancy lab equipment and sophisticated computers? Or can you just use a few household items, a swimming pool, bullets and a lot of time? Maybe it's time to ditch the lab coats, fire up the oven and learn how battery testing is really done.
GM invests $8 million to double size of high-tech battery lab, replacing some engine dynamometers to make room
Bill Wallace showing off the Volt cell and battery pack – Click above for high-res image gallery
The U.S. federal government has put a lot of money into clean car companies this past year, including about $8.5 billion through U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program (Ford got $5.9 billion, Nissan $1.6 billion, Fisker Automotive $528.7 million, and Tesla Motors $465 million) and another $2+ billion for advanced batteries (some say it was more than that). There may be more coming down the pike.