Monday, October 08, 2007

Improved Weapons in War Against Corporate Oil Barons

By Daniel Gross

"Translation: a 45-miles-per-gallon hybrid can now get as much as 125 miles per gallon."
     In 2001, when hybrids were barely on the radar screen, Dave Vieau cofounded A123Systems in Watertown, Mass., to build lithium-ion batteries, which can store and deliver more energy than traditional batteries. The first application was in power tools. "But at the end of 2002, we saw hybrids as an opportunity that could be interesting," he says. A123Systems has raised $102 million in venture capital, and about half of its 800 employees are working on hybrid-related projects. "We can improve the energy density, accelerate more quickly, and all without taking up too much space." Translation: a 45-miles-per-gallon hybrid can now get as much as 125 miles per gallon. Today, about three dozen vehicles equipped with A123Systems cells are prowling the cul-de-sacs of chichi suburbs.

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