One of the biggest problems in developing hybrid cars is the pesky lithium ion battery. The technical problems associated with the Li-Ion battery have plagued manufacturers almost forever - whether it's vendors selling notebooks or car companies attempting to green the planet.
Fuel cells held out a lot of promise but the hype surrounding these cunning devices has clouded the fact that they're not really that viable for many applications.
Even mighty chip firm Intel has got all hot and bothered about Li-Ion batteries and fuel cells from time to time.
Now Hitachi - motto Inspire the Next - has come up with an idea which may turn the Li-Ion battery into a real cool cat.
According to Nikkei, Hitachi has created a Li-Ion battery with an output per kilogram of 4,500 watts. That's 70 percent more than the batteries it's currently churning out, and 50 percent more than a battery it will mass manufacture next year.
When can we expect to see this new and improved Li-Ion? Sometime after 2010, Hitachi promises.
The other good thing is that the battery will last 10 years, so will keep pace with the anticipated life of a hybrid car.