Business World

THE JOURNAL RECORD, November 11, 1997 | Go to article overview

Business World


Next generation batteries

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors this week will begin using batteries that nearly double the driving range of electric pickups between charges. Utilities in Detroit, Atlanta and Los Angeles will each test an electric pickup that has a nickel-metal hydride battery, said GM spokesman Dick Thompson. The batteries will be installed in the automaker's electric cars in California and Arizona starting sometime next year.

"This is clearly the next generation of advanced vehicles," Thompson said. The No. 1 automaker already has about 575 electric cars and light trucks in use with conventional, lead-acid batteries. Honda since May has used the nickel-metal hydride battery in the 40 electric cars sold in California. Toyota has been testing the batteries with fleet users in 15 electric sport utility vehicles since January 1996. GM and Toyota said the battery doubles the range of conventional lead-acid batteries, from 50 miles to about 100 miles between charges in the pickup and sport utility. Honda said the battery runs about 80 miles between charges in "real-world" tests where consumers climb hills and use equipment such as air conditioners. A drawback of the new batteries is their cost. The nickel-metal hydride batteries are at least twice as expensive as a lead-acid battery. Nissan in December will introduce a four-passenger van that uses a lithium-ion battery -- the most expensive battery -- which it says goes more than 100 miles between charges. Won in grueling mediation BURBANK, Calif. (Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney and its former studio chief, Jeffrey Katzenberg, have reached a settlement of Katzenberg's lawsuit against the entertainment company. Disney agreed to pay Katzenberg an unspecificed amount to settle his $250 million contract dispute, the two sides said Monday, with the exact amount to be determined in further talks. They agreed to keep the settlement terms confidential. The settlement was reached in mediation sessions, and came as a Nov. 18 trial date approached. Both sides had recently vowed to hash out the dispute in court, possibly exposing closely guarded details of their personal relationships and business dealings. The dispute revolved around Katzenberg's departure from Disney in 1994 after Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Eisner refused to promote him to be company president. Once he was gone, Katzenberg claimed he was entitled to his share of the take on the animated films he helped produce. Coke's Olympic plans ATLANTA (Bloomberg) -- Coca-Cola and its bottlers will spend $100 million to $125 million on global marketing for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, in a bid to increase global sales. Coke is spending less than half the estimated $250 million it spent in 1996 for the Atlanta Games, in which nearly 190 countries competed. That's because only about 85 countries enter the Winter Games, slated to start in less than 100 days. Coca-Cola, the oldest and biggest Olympics sponsor, is marketing its flagship beverage, its Georgia coffee and Aquarius sports drink in Olympic promotions and ads in Japan. It's also about to begin Games-related marketing in about 30 other countries, including millions of dollars in TV ad time in the U.S. In Nagano -- as it did for Atlanta -- Coca-Cola is sponsoring the torch relay, building a pin-trading center and developing 500 different pin designs, and hosting radio disk jockeys from around the world. It plans to have 16 billboards, 11 kiosks selling soft drinks and 22 buses and 60 trucks wrapped with ads for its drinks in and around Nagano. Georgia coffee, which is Japan's No. 1 canned coffee, is sponsoring the torch relay. And Aquarius, Coke's sports drink in the country, has run promotions to pick high school students to run alongside the torch. In-your-face yellow pace LAS VEGAS (JR) -- The 1998 Chevrolet Corvette convertible will lead the pack at next year's Indianapolis 500, marking the fourth time a Corvette -- and the 11th time a Chevy -- has led the race. …

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