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The State of Wisconsin will give Johnson Controls-Saft a half-million dollar grant to aid in the development of hybrid battery technology, it was announced yesterday. The grant is part of Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle's Clean Energy Wisconsin Plan, and requires Johnson Controls-Saft to invest $500,000 of its own money - I wouldn't be surprised it it goes into the company's Battery Technology Center in Milwaukee - to get the matching funds from the state. The company says it was given the grant "s

Click the Saturn Vue Hybrid for a high res gallery.

Nissan isn't the only Japanese auto manufacturer with big plans for batteries. Toyota will open two new battery plants in Japan and expand a third for the production of nickel metal hydride and lithium ion batteries. All of Toyota's current hybrid vehicles use the older nickel-based battery chemistry. The lithium ion batteries produced at the new plant will likely be scheduled for next-gen hybrids like the upcoming Lexus version of the third-generation Prius sedan. The total investment from Toyo

Sanyo knows a thing or two about making batteries for vehicles. The company's batteries are in the 2008 Ford Escape hybrid and the Honda Accord hybrid, for example. The Asia Pulse reports this week that the company announced that it will spend over three billion dollars over the next three years on new rechargeable battery technology (as well as solar cells and other electronic parts). The money the company will spend in the next three years is 40 percent more than similar investments in the pre