Cisco delves deeper into the smart grid market by announcing today its plans to acquire Arch Rock, a privately held company that makes IP-based wireless technology company for smart grid applications. This comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement of their strategic alliance with smart meter giant Itron. Read more about it on CNET News and GigaOm.

Chevy Volt automaker GM seeks to trademark the term “range anxiety.” The phrase references the fear that electric vehicles will run out of battery on long trips. The Volt, it should be noted, has a gas engine that can extend its range. A Tesla spokesperson shot back: “By all means, GM can have ‘range anxiety.’ To Roadster owners, the term is as irrelevant as ‘gas stop’ or ‘smog check.’ We are, however, looking into trademarking ‘Tesla grin.’”

Lux predicts winners and losers in coming solar industry shakeup. Price declines and stiff competition are forecasted for the solar market, Lux research says. The company issued a report labeling companies as either high potential, dominant, long shot and undistinguished. The analysis singled out Amonix, Enphase and Abound Solar as strong IPO contenders for the next year.

Electric vehicles could be cheaper in the future thanks to forecasted price drops in lithium-ion batteries. As automakers rush to produce electric cars, prices are falling thanks to an oversupply in the market and competition among battery makers. A forecasted price drop of 19 to 25 percent on batteries this year could point to lower price tags on future EVs.

Andy Leventhal is the new CEO of Recurve, a San Francisco-based company that makes software for contractors that outfit homes to be more energy-efficient. Leventhal is a 25-year software veteran, previously working for VeriSign and Red Hat. The company secured $8 million in series B financing in June, is planning a nationwide rollout of their software.

Infiniti unveiled a new hybrid version of its M sedan, the 2012 Infiniti M35h. The gas-electric car is the automaker’s first model to use the company’s own hybrid technology and will go on sale in spring of 2011. The all-electric Nissan Leaf will hit roads in December.