This company is reinventing the lithium-ion battery


Lithium-ion batteries will power the electric vehicles and wider energy revolution we need to tackle the climate crisis. But they need to get much better.

In 2003, Gene Berdichevsky heard about a group of entrepreneurs who were planning to build electric sports cars for the US market. He was an undergraduate at Stanford University, and he’d become fascinated by the energy industry – he’d been building lightweight solar-powered cars that ran on lithium-ion batteries and racing them across the country.

Berdichevsky had calculated that the energy density of lithium-ion made it possible to build real cars that could go almost 500km on a single charge, and had even written a business plan based on this idea. Six months later, he dropped out of Stanford to join those entrepreneurs and became Tesla’s seventh employee.

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