Electric-car battery deal could be a small jolt for Chrysler

A pact announced yesterday between Chrysler and a high-tech battery maker spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could help the beleaguered automaker supercharge its ENVI electric-car division and perhaps boost the company's chances of survival.

Alone, it certainly won't be enough to save Chrysler, which now has just under four weeks to strike a deal with Italian automaker Fiat or face the prospect of losing further support from the U.S. government. But while financial details of the alliance with A123Systems are scarce, the agreement looks like both a savvy political move and smart business.