Former chairman wants Intel to make electric car batteries

plug-inAndrew Grove, former Intel Corp chairman, is pushing the world’s biggest maker of microprocessors to diversify business by becoming a manufacturer of advanced batteries for plug-in electric cars. This emerging industry is attracting Chinese and Japanese companies like BYD Motors, Panasonic, and Sanyo.

According to an Intel spokesman, Intel already has investments in battery-related companies through its Intel Capital Unit. It is unknown whether they will increase their presence in this field, especially in these weak economic times when corporations are leaning towards cash conservation instead of new investments. Intel is also expecting a 12% decline in sales for the fourth quarter.

Mark Duvall, a researcher at the Electric Power Research Institute, explains that “batteries are absolutely the No. 1 constraint for electric cars” and is also the single-most expensive component right now. Come on Intel, I want an affordable electric car!