A123Systems most certainly won't go down as the first startup to crank out what could be the batteries that reside in our future electric vehicles, but it seems to be edging ever closer to landing a full-blown contract with General Motors. GM has already selected the Massachusetts-based company to "develop batteries that might be used for the Saturn Vue," and it is pondering the idea of awarding the battery maker a similar deal for the Volt. The firm is garnering a good bit of praise for its "long-lasting, safe rechargeable Li-ions" that could potentially power the all-electric / hybrid vehicles of the future, but rather than relying on "cobalt oxide, it used iron phosphate assembled in a novel, nano-structure." Interestingly, the outfit's current offerings started out with the idea of utilizing self-assembling cells, but after they proved "intractably hard to develop," the idea was scraped in favor of the less pricey Li-ion approach. Still, don't expect these guys to run the table on automotive contracts, as there's already quite a few formidable opponents on the loose.