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January 13th, 2008
No one promised that going green would be easy. Just look at the up and down story of technology innovator Altair Nanotechnologies.
Altair (other-otc: ATCD - news - people ) makes a nano-particle compound used by Boeing (nyse: BA - news - people ) to coat the wings of its stealth fighters and by paint maker Sherwin-Williams (nyse: SHW - news - people ) to make pigments with fewer toxic residues. But Altair has grander plans: It aims to make batteries that can power an electric car for 150 miles and recharge in the same amount of time it takes to fill up a gas tank and grab a Big Gulp.
The technology seems to be getting close to practical application. Phoenix Motorcars, a Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based electric vehicle start-up, plans this year to start selling a small electric pickup truck with drive batteries based in part on the Altair technology. That said, precisely how many Phoenix will buy isn't clear. (Phoenix reported in November that it was scaling back its plans to purchase at least $16 million of batteries from Altair.)
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