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The Lithium-Ion Battery Was a Long Time Coming

Author Charles Murray explains the twists, turns, detours and the emergence of the battery technology that enabled electric cars.
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By George Leopold

What’s at Stake:
Early in the previous century, about 38 percent of vehicles on American roads were powered by electricity. Last year, just 3 percent of new U.S. cars sold were electric. Those statistics underscore the decidedly uneven development and market impact of the leading electric vehicle battery chemistry. As author Charles Murray notes, lithium-ion technology has nonetheless helped reignite the EV market after many fits and starts.

Veteran technology journalist Charles Murray chronicles the history of the lithium-ion battery and its central role in propelling EVs in Long Hard Road: The Lithium-Ion Battery and the Electric Car (Purdue University Press, September 2022).

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