Battery Companies in Need of a Boost

The U.S. battery industry is trying to recover after suffering some shocks.

Over the past few years, domestic companies have entered a global competition to supply the advanced batteries that power electric vehicles. The start-ups came into the game with big backers and high hopes behind them: Venture capitalists saw a booming market ahead, and Washington saw a chance to spur a domestic green-manufacturing industry. So far, the results are disappointing as strong competition from Asian rivals and low factory utilization fail to lower unit costs.

In the meantime, A123 and other battery makers are looking beyond the auto market. One candidate is providing backup power for the electric grid. Grid storage is seen as helpful to smooth the sudden ups and downs in electricity supplies from wind and solar generation.     Full Article