IBM--king of the computer--aims to become king-of-the-hill for batteries too, with a new effort to develop lithium-air batteries to the point of providing a 500 mile range for electric cars. Look for lithium-air batteries to take over where lithium-ion left off within five years. R.C.J.
The Battery 500 Project recently held its kickoff meeting at IBM's Almaden Laboratory in San Jose, Calif., where leading scientists, engineers and other experts brainstormed about how to perfect the power source for all-electric automobiles. As a part of IBM's 2-year-old Big Green Innovations program, the Battery 500 Project aims to boost the range of rechargeable batteries for all-electric cars from less than 100 miles today to as far as 500 miles. The consortium's efforts are being led by the Almaden Lab in collaboration with several U.S. universities and the Department of Energy's national labs.