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Batteries or Fuel Cells?
Written by Gizmo   
Tuesday, 07 March 2006 08:04

There's a new battery technology on the horizon, according to Wired! News, and it's called the M1.  Actually, it's not so much a new technology as a refinement of an existing technology; Lithium-Ion.  Apparently, the fair-haired boys at M.I.T. spinoff A123 have developed a way of manufacturing the batteries that increases their storage capacity, decreases their charging time, and increases their peak discharge rate to levels that make them competitive with even lead-acid batteries.  The result is a battery technology that will be able to reduce the weight of the battery load carried in hybrid and electric-only vehicles by up to 80%.

GM however, is betting on fuel cell technology, according to Yahoo! News.  Fuel cells have a higher energy density and lower weight than batteries, but have to be refueled using hydrogen, which means that there is a requirement for some type of refueling infrastructure to be built (can't pull up to the local gas station and say "give me some hydrogen").  GM is so confident in fuel cells that it has decided to terminate a research relationship with Toyota because it is ready to go into actual commercial development of the technology.

So, what do you think?  Fuel cells or improved batteries?  Maybe something else altogether?  Tell us, in the forums! 

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