Former Intel chairman, Andy Grove, has been a prominent supporter of plug-in hybrid automobiles ever since he left his post at Intel. Now, in his role as Intel advisor, Grove is pushing CEO, Paul Otellini, to diversify Intel by manufacturing advanced batteries for plug-in electric vehicles. His argument is two fold: 1) the market is potentially huge (read: big profits!) as the world seems to be at an eVehicle tipping point, 2) with such little manufacturing capacity left in the US (and US automakers in deep trouble), if someone like Intel doesn't take on the challenge then the market will left be to Chinese and Japanese interests like BYD motors and the soon-to-merge Panasonic and Sanyo
-- all of whom are positioning themselves to dominate the emerging battery market. While the move from silicon to battery tech might sound radical, it's worth remembering that Nokia, the world's largest manufacturer of mobile phones was once a wood-pulp mill. Of course, if Intel ever perfects
its wireless power technology
then this whole battery argument is moot.
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