With all the movement toward green technology, and the new administrationâ€™s active support of it, whatâ€™s going to happen to the automobile? Itâ€™s hard to imagine the roads of tomorrow still populated with exhaust spewing internal combustion engines, even if theyâ€™re 60 mpg hybrids.
Although gas prices are temporarily being held in check by a stagnant economy, itâ€™s apparent that Americans are getting increasingly sick of the gas price roller coaster ride. Add to that the haunting feeling that a percentage of gas money has for years been going to Americaâ€™s worst enemies, and itâ€™s easy to understand the longing for a better way.
But whatâ€™s the best alternative? In spite of all the talk about things like mass transit, high-mileage hybrids, hydrogen power, and biomass fuels, they all have pollution or infrastructure issues that have yet to be resolved to everyoneâ€™s satisfaction.
According to many, the most viable solution for today is the simple all-electric car. It too has issues, but ones which experts believe can more easily be solved. Since the cars only require electricity, infrastructure is already in place. After all, you only need to plug it in. The vehicles themselves donâ€™t pollute, and power plants, the source of the electricity, are easier to deal with than individual cars when it comes to pollution. The one last hurdle to having an electric car in every garage seems to be the battery, the key competent that holds all the power.
There are a lot of companies, both large and small, that are developing and producing batteries. The problem is getting a rechargeable battery with the durability and range to satisfy the average driver. Currently, the lithium-ion polymer battery is the popular choice of most experts.
â€¢ Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) is opening a major lithium ion polymer battery plant in Singapore, but with an eye on consumer electronics rather than the automotive market.
â€¢ Valence Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: VLNC), with the help of its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and sells energy power storage systems. Its products are used in electric scooters, wheelchairs, robots, and other applications.
â€¢ Johnson Controls Inc. (NYSE: JCI) operates in building efficiency, automotive experience, and power solutions businesses worldwide. The company offers absorbent glass mat, nickel-metal-hydride, and lithium-ion battery technologies to power hybrid vehicles.
â€¢ Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI) creates and delivers energy storage products for applications such as battery cells for military artillery, battery packs for hybrid vehicles, and energy storage systems for large-scale stationary power services, but maintains a focus on advanced materials.
The one company that is focused on the development of an advanced lithium-ion polymer battery for the all-electric vehicle market is Superlattice Power, Inc (OTCBB: SLAT). The company has developed a unique and proprietary chemical process for the industrial scale production of specialized high-purity nano cathode materials used in their advanced battery. The cobalt free cathode material has a superlattice chemical structure that can accommodate more lithium, and thus hold more energy. The result is a battery with overall superior performance, allowing an all-electric vehicle to go 200 miles on a single charge.
Itâ€™s this kind of green machine that we hope will fill the roads of tomorrow.
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