AUSTIN, TX-Austin is a contender as a location for a car battery manufacturing plant being proposed by a newly formed consortium of 20 U.S. battery makers preparing for the nation’s shift to plug-in vehicles.

The National Alliance for Advance Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture, which was established in mid-December and includes Austin-based ActaCell Inc., is lobbying for federal funding for its effort to help U.S. companies compete with Asian battery makers that have led the way in producing batteries used in hybrid vehicles.MORE