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Lithium ion batteries on path to mass market, LG Chem Power chief says

DETROIT — The CEO of battery maker LG Chem Power said today that the lithium ion battery is “on the right slope” to becoming a feasible, mass-marketed option for automakers.

“You see companies like Tesla, which are not mass market, but they are doing things in a way that reduces the cost while increasing the capacity of their batteries,” Prabhakar Patil, said at a battery trade show in suburban Detroit. “I feel we are on the right slope to finding reduced cost, increased capacity solutions.”

Today was the first day of the annual Battery Show, where battery manufacturers display and discuss their latest inventions. The convention is expected to attract more than 3,500 people over three days, most of them producers or potential customers.

The convention was kicked off by a panel of speakers, East Penn Manufacturing Co. CEO Sally Miksiewicz, Johnson Controls Inc. President Brian Kesseler and Patil, who agreed that as long as gasoline prices remain relatively stable, electric vehicles will account for only a small faction of total auto sales.

“Demand is slow right now,” Patil said. “But we already see increased regulations on CO2 emissions in the European Union, United States and China on the horizon, three of the biggest markets, and because of that, the demand for lithium ion batteries will increase.”


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