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Intensifying price competition from South Korean battery manufacturers has driven Sanyo Electric Co. and GS Yuasa Corp. to dissolve their long-standing lithium-ion battery joint venture (JV). According to a joint announcement, the liquidation of the Sanyo GS Soft Energy Co. JV was inevitable as the venture had posted net losses for two years running. The decision to dissolve the JV may hinder Sanyo's ability to collect loans valued at 4 billion yen ($47.5 million U.S. at the current exchange rat

Nissan Leaf battery pack - Click above for high-res image gallery

EnerDel Inc. announced plans to open li-ion battery plants in both China and Europe in an effort to triple its battery production by the end of 2011 and meet the expected demand of new partnerships. Though the company currently holds deals with just two automakers (Think and Volvo), it plans to announce two additional customers by the end of the year, one hailing from Europe and the other from Asia.

After supplying batteries for the record-breaking Mira EV (pictured), Sanyo had little choice but to follow it up with something big. So that's just what they did. This time around, the project is more about future plans than 300-plus mile journeys, but the goal is still quite monumental. Sanyo will invest $2.1 billion to ramp up li-ion production for hybrid and electric vehicles in anticipation of reaching mass production levels by 2012.

Battery breakthroughs seem to pop up almost every day. There's always a new idea, different material or unique design that makes the battery better. Some manufacturers make outlandish claims that can't be true while other companies string us out for years awaiting amazing products. This time around, Hitachi makes a bold claim for its breakthrough-tech, but it's believable and has already been put through preliminary tests.

Electric vehicle batteries don't last forever. Sure, they can be charged up, drained and charged again, but at some point they just won't get the job done anymore. Automakers estimate that advanced batteries will provide about ten years of serviceable life in vehicles. So what happens to that hunk of lithium in your vehicle after it's retired from the intended duties? It gets a second chance in one of several industries lining up to spring new life into that old battery.

As it seems that Li-Ion batteries are the way to go for hybrid vehicles, because not only have two companies - FiFe and Enerize - announced they have teamed up to mass-produce them but they also include information on their developments in the product.