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Better lithium ion batteries for future generations of electric vehicles

Researchers have been charged with building a better battery for future generations of electric cars — a mission to improve energy security, reduce petroleum dependence and lower emissions.

At the Batteries for Advanced Transportation Technologies Program at Berkeley National Lab, researchers are working to develop better lithium-ion batteries that could run a vehicle for up to 300 miles. Researchers like Vince Battaglia (shown in the video above) have been charged with building a better battery for future generations of electric cars — a mission to improve energy security, reduce petroleum dependence and lower emissions.

Today, the top-performing electric and hybrid vehicles run on lithium-ion batteries. It’s the same type of battery as is found in laptops and mobile devices. It’s also the technology that could help meet the President’s goal of 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. What’s the breakthrough that will put 10 million on the road?

That’s the question Battaglia and several other Energy Department research teams are attempting to answer. Battery science can be tricky. At the core of the battery puzzle is finding a material that stores enough energy to run a vehicle for long distances, but is also lightweight, abundant and safe to use. It must also be cost effective to produce on a mass scale, and environmentally safe to dispose of after a minimum 15-year lifespan.

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