MILWAUKEE, Wis. --- President George Bush this week toured a research facility operated by Johnson Controls, a leader in development of lithium ion batteries for hybrid cars. In a speech to the facility’s employees, Bush called for Congress to approve an additional $31 million in funding for research into the batteries, according to a report in the New York Times. Lithium ion batteries are still years away from mass production. They are smaller and more efficient than the nickel metal hydride batteries now used in hybrid cars. During his speech, Bush said he looked forward to the day when the new batteries would allow cars to operate 40 miles on electricity alone. Today’s hybrid vehicles use the gasoline engine to charge the onboard battery.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials