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Electric cars have been with us since the very beginning of the automobile age and from that time until now, its most important component has been the battery. It stores energy chemically until it is needed to create the electricity that powers a vehicle's motor. There have been different types of batteries over the years but none have had the practicality or popularity of the very first rechargeable one, the lead-acid battery.

While understandably excited about the 41 mpg highway city rating the new Fusion hybrid recently achieved, Ford is already throwing a wet blanket on the sales potential of the car, which will go on sale in Spring 2009. According to HybridCars, Ford Americas President Mark Fields said that, "We are constrained by the amount of components, including batteries, that the supply base can provide us," during an an online chat last week. Not a lot of detail there, but it's certainly a dampener. We've a

Cobasys, a corporate cousin of Energy Conversion Devices has been awarded the contract to supply batteries to General Motors for the new Saturn Aura Green Line hybrid. Cobasys is a joint venture between ECD and Chevron Technology Ventures. The battery for the Aura is a nickel metal hydride unit that Cobasys sells under their NiMHax brand. This battery will be a 36V unit that is integrated with control electronics and liquid cooling, that's designed as a plug and play system for hybrid vehicle ap