Nanosafe batteries (made by Altairnano) replaced the graphite in the anode electrode with nano-titanate.
This change gives them vastly better numbers. We're talking batteries that can be charged in less than 10 minutes, have a power density of 4,000 W/Kg, and can retain 85% of their charge after 15,000 - 20,000 charge cycles. Combine this with a wider operating temperature range (between -50 to 75 degrees C) than standard li-ion batteries, expected life of 12-20 years (depending on use) and batteries that have not smoked or caught fire in any of the standard battery tests, and you've got a battery with great potential for automotive use.
They claim instantaneous power even at extreme temperatures, can deliver power per unit weight and unit volume several times that of conventional Lithium-Ion batteries.
They powered the world record beating EV dragster driven by Dennis Berube in Tucson Arizona on December 30th 2007, during which he achieved a top speed of over 160mph in under 8 seconds.
The UK Lightning car company http://www.lightningcarcompany.co.uk uses this technology.
There are no gearboxes, differential, axle, drive shafts or propshafts to contend with. All of the power is generated at the wheel, the point at which it's required, which eliminates mechanical complexity and power losses. It also uses regenerative braking which doesn't create friction and useless heat in order to slow down. Instead it reverses its electric motor turning it into an electric generator, creating electricity which is fed back into the battery pack.