With the recent FAA grounding of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner due to lithium-ion battery-pack fires, lithium ion batteries in electric cars are likely to get a bad rap. It's important to remember that there are significant differences between the two batteries used in each.
According to John Voelcker in a recent Popular Science article, while both lithium-ion, the the two batteries have dissimilar chemical makeups. The 787 battery packs utilize cobalt oxide chemistry, which is know for its high energy content and propensity for overheating. Most electric cars, on the other hand, have a manganese-based chemical makeup and are far less prone to overheating and fires. Unfortunately, many people may be turned-off to electric cars for fear of faulty batteries, and it's important that misinformation does not prevail. Electric cars continue to lessen our reliance on petroleum reserves while benefiting the environment with low emissions.