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Developing a powerful next-generation battery

Narrator:       This is Science Today. One of the goals of the U.S. Department of Energy's recently established Batteries and Energy Storage Hub is the development of a cost-effective, next generation battery that has five times energy density. Venkat Srinivasan, who is leading the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory team in this multi-partner effort, describes what this means.

Srinivasan:    Today we have electric cars that can go 70 miles in one charge. We really want to go as much as a gasoline car, which is 350 miles. So, that would be a battery that has five times density. It turns out the batteries have to be somewhere in the range of $125 a kilowatt hour, which is one-fifth the cost of the batteries that are there today, so that's what we're shooting for.

Narrator:       To reach this goal, Srinivasan says researchers will be focusing on a number of things, including moving to ions that have a higher number charge compared to lithium. 

Srinivasan:    We're hoping to go to ions that have plus two and plus three charge. These sorts of chemistries can ultimately make a big impact. They haven't been studied a whole lot, but we hope to study them in the hub and make a big difference to the energy density of batteries.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.