The Future of Energy Storage, Electric Cars: Batteries

Nov 30, 2012

High-tech batteries could be a solution to storing renewable energy. They could also help electric cars drive farther before needing to recharge. A Washington laboratory is joining a nationwide team of scientist and industry professionals to advance battery performance.

The U.S. Department of Energy says better performing batteries can help reduce dependence on foreign oil. So it’s put together a national hub of researchers and industry professionals to develop a better battery.

And the hub has an ambitious goal: Make a battery that’s five times cheaper, five times more powerful, within five years.

Jun Liu is a battery researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.

“Those goals are very, very hard. But we don’t think it’s in the dreamland.”

As a part of the national team, scientists at the lab will research batteries at the molecular level. Liu says that’s where batteries are failing now.

Energy Secretary Stephen Chu says battery technology will strengthen the United States’ energy sector and economy.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio