President, Hitachi Vehicle Energy Ltd.
Chosen because: Hitachi Vehicle Energy supplies mass-produced lithium ion battery packs for hybrid vehicles made by General Motors. This is one of the first large-scale uses of the lighter, more powerful lithium ion battery technology in the auto industry. But Yuhara, 56, isn't letting Hitachi Vehicle Energy stop there. The company is developing fourth-generation lithium ion batteries that can deliver 50 percent more energy output than the current mass-produced lithium ion batteries. And while many of Hitachi's competitors are busy forming joint ventures and other tie-ups with automakers, Yuhara says Hitachi will go it alone.
Quote: "Rather than forming a partnership with a specific carmaker, Hitachi Vehicle Energy aims to deliver to every carmaker."