Batteries Are the Next Target in China’s Clean-Energy Conquest

Clean-energy promoters hailed Tesla’s announcement of plans for a Nevada “gigafactory”–a reference to the unit for measuring energy storage–back in 2014 as the dawn of a new American industry. The $5 billion facility would eventually produce millions of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles as well as energy storage on the grid.

But behind the headlines, leading battery researchers and entrepreneurs say the gigafactory represents an exception to the rule in the fast-growing global industry for lithium-ion batteries. No matter what Tesla has planned, the U.S. is set to lag China in the battery race if current trends continue.

Read more by Justin Worland at
Illustration: Jay Bendt for TIME

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