Dec 16, 2008

Intel Inside (Your Electric Car)?

Intel's former chairman Andrew Grove is exerting considerable pressure on the company to explore the world of car battery production. Grove feels that the promising industry will bloom into a huge profit center, and as such is pushing Intel hard in this direction.

Currently, the most promising (and capable) suppliers for electric, E-REV, and hybrid vehicle batteries are located in Japan. There are a few American upstarts, such as firm A123 Systems who is helping GM with development of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, but they represent a very small portion of the total of electric battery production capacity.

The current economic crisis poses a considerable challenge to Intel if it wants to join the electric battery fray; the firm's sales have dropped 12 percent from the third to the fourth quarter of 2008. But if electric, E-REV, and gas/electric hybrid vehicle sales take off in the U.S., Grove's gamble might prove extremely profitable.--Colin Mathews

[source: Kicking Tires via The Wall Street Journal]

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