GM and lithium-ion battery begging
[Credit = Autoblog.com photo gallery]
By NORIHIKO SHIROUZU
April 13, 2007; Page B1
Wall Street Journal
General Motors Corp. executives -- blue over their company's less-than-green reputation and envious of eco-darling Toyota Prius -- began searching the world for advanced batteries they hoped would power a new generation of gas-electric hybrid cars.
Most roads led them to Japan, the leader in battery technology and #HYPERLINK *http://online.wsj.com/quotes/main.html?type=djn&symbol=tm*
Toyota Motor Corp.'s home turf. Several GM engineers and executives describe their experience at Panasonic EV Energy Co. Ltd., one of the top makers of hybrid-car batteries, as typical of the reception they received there: When GM team members asked for detailed information about the company's most sophisticated automotive lithium-ion batteries, Panasonic EV refused.
A Panasonic EV spokesman says that as a matter of company policy it only discloses that kind of information to its parent company, Toyota.
Facing growing pressure to curtail greenhouse-gas emissions, U.S. auto makers are increasingly worried that the critical battery technology they'll need to compete is getting locked up by Japanese rivals who moved more quickly to develop gas-electric hybrid vehicles.
*It's important to have the knowledge base on advanced automotive battery technology and manufacturing capacity right here locally in the U.S.* says Beth Lowery, GM vice president of Environment and Energy.
======== Wall Street Journal
Guess crunching the EV-1 in 1993-95 was not too smart.
Now GM is worried about Toyota killing off the new GM Volt with an EV that will go twice as far for less money. = TG