The Promise and Challenge of Scaling Lithium Metal Batteries

While breakthroughs could be a decade away, the lithium metal battery could offer a major leap in capability for electric vehicles and the grid.

While lithium-ion batteries are undergoing an historic scale-up, researchers are also hard at work looking for what battery technology might come next.

A big battery breakthrough could lead to electric cars that could drive longer on a single charge and are safer to operate. Better batteries for the grid could store more energy, enabling the deployment of more wind and solar.

“There’s a worldwide race for these kinds of concepts,” said Paul Albertus, program director for ARPA-E, the Department of Energy program that focuses on early-stage, potentially big-impact energy research.

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