Lithium Car Batteries: not ready for prime time
I was intrigued by a Fool article describing an initiative to create a lithium car battery factory here in the U.S.; the summary was to invest in MMM, one of the participating companies thereof. So, I did a lazy google search: I was not encouraged by what I found.
1) there are many problems: cost, durability, cost, size, cost, cruising range, cost, safety, cost (BTW-did I mention cost?).
2) there are many players, and choosing a winner is not easy. Many car manufactures seem to be going ahead and announcing partnerships with various battery makers who still need to improve their product. Just because a partnership and factory building has been announced is no guarantee that the anticipated product will materialize. Humbly suggest you keep your powder dry on this one. FWIW, these are my notes on what I found:
toshiba + vw (super charge ion battery)
johnson controls + saft = mb & ford
panasonic + toyota (current leader in lithium battery)
lg + chevy volt (large electronics manufacturer)
ener1 (prismatic) + itochu (windmills) + enertech (lithium polymer)
a123 + chevy volt (nanophosphate)
imara nee lion
sakti3 + chevy volt (michigan startup)
advanced battery technologies ABAT + motorcycle (lithium polymer)
3m + johnson controls + enersys + fmc + actacell + 9 others = National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture
argonne + toda kogyo (LiMn)
valence technologies (LiFePo)