Global auto sales, 2008: 5.5 million
Market cap: $23.6 billion
The only carmaker of the Big Three to avoid bankruptcy, Ford still lost nearly $15 billion last year. Promising to bring plug-in hybrids to showrooms in 2012, the company has also turned to Magna International to help it build an electric version of its popular Focus.
Company: General Motors
Global auto sales, 2008: 8.4 million
Market cap: N/A
Recently emerged from a bankruptcy reorganization, GM hopes its much-anticipated electric Volt, scheduled to reach customers in 2011, will help rehabilitate its image.
Company: A123 Systems
Market cap: $1.86 billion
Although it lost out to South Korean battery maker LG Chem in its bid to charge up the Chevy Volt, A123 recently struck a deal with Chrysler to provide the batteries for its ENVI line of electric vehicles, the first of which is expected to hit the market next year. A $250 million stimulus grant and a $378 million IPO signaled support from both the federal government and Wall Street.
Global auto sales, 2008: 9.0 million
Market cap: $128.9 billion
The largest automaker in the world recently unveiled the third generation of its Prius hybrid. The company also announced that it plans to bring an all-electric vehicle to market by 2013.
Company: BYD Auto
Global auto sales, 2008: 170,000
Market cap: $19.9 billion
Last year, Warren Buffett bought a stake in this Chinese carmaker, which sprung from a manufacturer of cell-phone batteries. The BYD F3DM, introduced in 2008, was the first mass-produced plug-in hybrid to hit the market.
Company: LG Chem
Market cap: $13.7 billion
With subsidiary Compact Power, this South Korean battery maker won the contract to provide power for the forthcoming Chevy Volt. The company plans to invest more than $800 million in a plant to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles.
Company: Johnson Controls
Market cap: $15.1 billion
Grabbing $300 million of the $2 billion in grants that the stimulus bill set aside for manufacturing advanced batteries, Johnson Controls is building a new facility in Holland, MI, to make lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and all-electric vehicles.
Market cap: $80.9 billion
The German engineering giant designs and builds mass-transit systems around the world. The new Sapsan high-speed train that it developed for Russia will be a competitor for planned U.S. high-speed links.
Global auto sales, 2008: 2.1 million
Market cap: $50.7 billion
Having ended its ill-fated marriage with Chrysler two years ago, Daimler can now focus on its Mercedes-Benz and Smart car lines. The company says it expects to commercialize a hydrogen-powered car by 2015.
Company: General Electric
Market cap: $176.2 billion
GE’s transportation division provides $10 billion in revenues and nearly $1 billion in profits. The company has just unveiled what it claims is the most fuel-efficient rail locomotive, and it recently announced it would build a facility to manufacture batteries for hybrid locomotives.
The record for high-temperature superconductivity has been smashed again
Chemists found a material that can display superconducting behavior at a temperature warmer than it currently is at the North Pole. The work brings room-temperature superconductivity tantalizingly close.
Climate change’s highest cost: Overheated employees too miserable to work
The US economy could lose $221 billion annually by 2090 as people stop working as much or as hard.
Cutting emissions could prevent tens of thousands of heat deaths annually
And that’s just in the United States.