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PHOTO CAPTION: General Electric also has financial interest in Think electric car.

GE Ups Investment Stake in A123 Lithium Batteries

GE has now invested another $30 million in A123, raising total investment to $55 million and giving it a 9 percent equity stake.

Published: 25-Oct-2008

NISKAYUNA — Electric cars aren't new to General Electric Co. The battery-powered vehicle on display outside GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna this week dates from 1914.

It was once owned by Charles Steinmetz, the GE scientist who launched the research laboratory.

More than nine decades later, GE scientists continue to work on the battery technology that could revive not only the electric car, but a variety of hybrid vehicles, from massive earth movers used in mining operations to railroad locomotives and city buses.

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The phosphate-based Epoch batteries are equipped with an advanced management system that will monitor and adjust cell performance.

The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.

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