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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.

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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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