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While many automakers are getting a bit bullish about diesel cars in America (see Mercedes, Nissan and VW), a board member of parts supplier Continental AG told Handelsblatt (via Thompson Financial) that an overall downturn in diesel interest in the U.S. means his company is looking more toward electric cars than diesel-powered ones. Board member Karl-Heinz Neumann said, "Regarding diesel fuel, I'm more sceptical by now. There's not much happening in the U.S. The opportunities of the electrical

The automotive li-ion battery world got a little cozier today, with the news that Continental has purchased a 16 percent stake in the Japanese "battery specialist" (Automotive News Europe's words) Enax. ANE says that the two companies will together develop "high storage batteries for automotive use." The company's official announcement on the new partnership says those batteries will be "lithium-ion cells especially for future hybrid and electric drives in automobiles" that will be safer, have a

The Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHybrid that was announced Friday, will likely be the first production lithium ion hybrid in the world. The important milestone here is the lithium ion battery chemistry, something that Reuters is giving us more information about. The S-class' li-ion cell will be supplied by Continental, which the tea leaves kind of predicted a few months ago. The S400 installs could give the battery maker a potential head start in its effort to beat Korea's LG Chem to produce the batte