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CHARLOTTE, NC - Duke Energy and Tokyo-based ITOCHU Corp. have signed an agreement to collaborate on advanced energy technologies, starting with the evaluation and testing of second-life applications for electric vehicle batteries.

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Panasonic Invests $30 Million in Tesla

PALO ALTO, CA - Panasonic Corp. has invested $30 million in electric car maker Tesla Motors.The investment builds upon a multi-year collaboration to accelerate the market expansion of the electric vehicle.

Calif. Awards $9.6 million for EV, Alt-Fuel Projects

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Energy Commission has approved eight grants to fund projects aimed at advancing the manufacture of electric vehicles and vehicle batteries, adding vehicle charging stations, and encouraging the use of biofuels. The grants leverage more than $9.6 million in state funding with $11.9 million in private funds.

BASF Advanced Battery Materials Plant Under Construction

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Chemical company BASF on Oct. 27 broke ground on a $50-plus million facility in Elyria, Ohio, that will produce advanced cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries that will power the hybrid and full-electric vehicles of the near future.

Calif. Awards $12.6 Million for Green Vehicle Technologies

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Energy Commission recently approved nearly $12.6 million for nine projects aimed at developing cleaner transportation. These include efforts to manufacture electric vehicles and vehicle batteries, add vehicle charging stations, and encourage the use of biofuels.

Ford Transit Connect Electric Draws Gubernatorial Test Drive

OAK PARK, MI - Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm drove one of the first Ford Transit Connect Electric small commercial vans in Oak Park on Sept. 22, citing collaboration among four companies as the key to delivering the zero-emissions vehicle to market.

GM, ABB Group Exploring Ways to Reuse Volt Batteries

TROY, MI - General Motors and ABB Group will work together to develop pilot projects for reusing the batteries from the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle. This effort will include examining whether the batteries may be a source for renewable energy that could improve the effectiveness of wind and solar power generation.

A123 Systems Opens EV Battery Plant in Mich.

LIVONIA, MI - A123 Systems, a manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries and systems, on Sept. 13 held a grand-opening ceremony for what the company said is the largest lithium-ion automotive production facility in North America.

Liquid-Cooled Battery Helps Extend Ford EV Range

DEARBORN, MI - The all-new Ford Focus Electric, which debuts in the U.S. late next year and in Europe in 2012, will be powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery that uses heated and cooled liquid to help extend battery life and gas-free driving range.