A new lithium ion battery technology may finally make the devices cheap enough and durable enough to turn electric cars from a niche product into a mass-market mode of transport. Waltham, Mass.–manufacturer A123 Systems has produced a cell that delivers 20 percent more power, works at temperatures as low as –30 degrees Celsius and as high as 60 degrees C, and should be just as easy as current batteries to manufacture.
"There's no 'unobtainium' in this battery," says company co-founder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology materials scientist Yet-Ming Chiang. "It's not based on a very expensive new chemistry."
Independent scientists have been scrutinizing the company's claims and say they are impressed.