U.S. Automakers Request $500 Million Battery Subsidy

Since 1991, the U.S. government has subsidized battery research at the rate of about $25 million a year.

Published: 10-Jan-2007

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 George W. Bush in the White House in November, said Stephen Zimmer, an advanced engineering director at DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler unit.

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.


Batteries could soon replace standard nickel-metal hydride batteries in hybrid vehicles. PHOTO: Sandia researcher Brad Hance examines a lithium-ion battery that may someday be put in a hybrid car.

Images of different types of carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes are key to MIT researchers' efforts to improve on an energy storage device called an ultracapacitor.

The glider-like plane with a single-seat gondola and a 31 meter (102 feet) wingspan was powered by 160 AA 'Oxyride' batteries.


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