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The Global Quest for a Better Car Battery

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Steve LeVine says the race is on:

As China continues its massive push in renewable energy, the Obama administration is doing so as well, betting another $120 million to win the global race for a better battery. The administration is allocating the money to a Bell Labs-style project that, over a five-year period, is intended to push the boundaries of current technology and create far more powerful transportation and stationary batteries.

The initiative is pitted against competing efforts in China, France, Israel, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. It will be headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory, south of Chicago, which won the project this week in a competitive bid filed jointly with a team of US universities, companies such as Dow and Johnson Controls, and other national labs.

Even with the Solyndras and A123 Systems of the world, the U.S. is still flushing considerably more money down the tubes policing the Persian Gulf for the purposes of energy security. Subsidizing battery research to the tune of $120 million seems like a no-brainer.

(AP Photo)