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Friday, 20 May 2011

Working to Drive Electric Vehicles From Niche to Mass Market

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
May 19, 2011

With several new models of electric vehicles hitting the market this year and more next year, President Obama’s goal of putting 1 million EVs on U.S. roads by 2015 is tantalizingly within grasp. But what will it take for that number to reach 10 million or even 100 million in 20 years?

The answer: batteries need significant improvements. Specifically, they need to be cheaper, safer, last longer and have higher energy. The battery research team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), recognized as one of the best in the country, is engaged in high-risk, high-reward research in each of those four areas, striving for technology breakthroughs as well as incremental advances. Their work could help drive a transformation of the vehicle industry and make EVs as common as laptops and cell phones for American consumers.

“I think with incremental improvements in batteries, engineering advances in the car and support from the government, these are all things that will make it a reality,” says Berkeley Lab scientist Marca Doeff. “And there’s considerable enthusiasm among the population as a whole, so I think it’s going to happen.”


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