Inside Report (3)

Does the super-battery work -- or doesn't it? Last summer, a new battery from Gulf & Western Industries Inc., was ballyhooed to the press as a genuine breakthrough. The battery was supposed to give electric cars the unheard-of range of 140 miles without recharging.

Then press reports discharged a lot of the excitement. Tests, the reports said, showed the zinc-chloride battery with a range of less the 100 miles.

The US Energy Department, however, still says the battery is far ahead of all others. Problems have surfaced, DOE concedes, but "progress is being made." And G&W sticks to its 140-mile estimate.

DOE still says the battery is the "technological breakthrough that G&W claimed it was.

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