The race is on to roll out the first commercial plug-in electric hybrid vehicle. Toyota Motor
I don't know who among the automakers will win the race. I also have no idea which of the various cleantech startups will develop a world-beating battery. Perhaps it won't be a start-up at all -- Johnson Controls
But I do know that lithium-ion technology looks like the anointed successor to the nickel-metal hydride battery that powers present-day hybrids. That lithium has to come from somewhere, and more likely than not, that somewhere is Chile.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, fully 75% of the world's lithium reserves are chillin' in Chile. The world's largest producer is Chemical & Mining Company of Chile