Sunday, January 21, 2007

Big 3 want feds to aid battery research

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Big 3 want feds to aid battery research
John Lippert / Bloomberg News

General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG have asked the U.S. government for $500 million over five years to subsidize research into advanced batteries for cars and trucks.

The automakers made the request last month after meeting with President Bush in the White House in November, said Stephen Zimmer, an advanced engineering director at DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group.

U.S.-based auto companies are in a race with rivals including Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. to develop a lithium-ion battery for use in hybrids and other vehicles.

They need a product that won't overheat and is economical, durable and rechargeable from a variety of sources, including home outlets.

"The progress being made is tremendous, but the batteries are not prime-time ready now," Zimmer said.

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