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The last announcement we have from Toyota this morning is a price reduction on replacement Prius batteries. Both first-gen and second-gen NiMH packs will now be at least ten percent cheaper to replace than before. The new prices for the packs are $2,299 for the 2000-2003 model years and $2,588 for the 2004-2008 model years. This is down from a previous price of $2,985 for either model. Toyota said that "technology and volume related advancements" were responsible for the price decrease.

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.

General Motors has apparently placed Cobasys on their list of distressed suppliers, a move that could be very bad news for some of GM's hybrid programs. Cobasys is the battery company jointly owned by Energy Conversion Devices and Chevron Technology Ventures. Cobasys supplies the nickel metal hydride batteries used in GM's mild hybrid system in the Saturn Aura and Vue and the Chevy Malibu. They are also one of two supplier teams with development contracts to provide lithium ion battery packs for

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