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The Great Race for Battery Technology

One hundred years from now, historians will probably date the beginning of the fall of the American Empire to 1986. That is the year President Ronald Reagan ordered Jimmy Carter’s solar panels torn down from the White House roof, and when Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping launched his secret “863” program to make his country a global technology leader.

Is the End Near for the US?

The big question today is who will win one of the biggest opportunities of our generation.

Some 27 years later, the evidence that China is winning this final battle is everywhere. China dominates in windmill power, controls 97% of the world’s rare earth supplies essential for modern electronics, is plunging ahead with “clean coal”, and boasts the world’s most ambitious nuclear power program.

It is a dominant player in high-speed rail, and is making serious moves into commercial and military aviation. It is also cleaning our clock in electric cars, with more than 30 low cost, emission free models coming to the market by the end of 2013. Looking from a distance, one could conclude that China has already won the technology war.
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