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Batteries will overtake fossil fuels as our main method of powering the world. But significant hurdles remain on the road to an all-electric future. Quartz’s latest presentation for members breaks down the history, science, and business of batteries—and takes you inside the race to replace Big Oil. ✦

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  • Chemical batteries are the promise of a cleaner future but there they cannot stand alone . Battery production is firmly tied to the chemical industry and oil. All of the components form a complex web of mining, shipping,processing more shipping, manufacturing still more shipping. All of these steps require

    Chemical batteries are the promise of a cleaner future but there they cannot stand alone . Battery production is firmly tied to the chemical industry and oil. All of the components form a complex web of mining, shipping,processing more shipping, manufacturing still more shipping. All of these steps require carbon emissions. This is real world economics not the numbers game beloved by academics.

    And then, yes there is a lot more, the batteries need to be charged and the production of electricity has its own spider web of interlocking factors all of which....dramatic pause emit carbon.

    Finally there has to be sufficient distribution of electricity to make the whole process worth it. Otherwise whole swaths of North America will be abandoned not to mention South America , Africa and Asia.

    Lots of work to do to fix these problems.

    Until then you pay at the pump

  • Batteries will help, but in order to Have 1 billion vehicles and 300 million trucks running on electricity we need massive mining as our friend has pointed, and the production of electricity should at least double. An article in nature, published last year, pointed out that we have about ten years left

    Batteries will help, but in order to Have 1 billion vehicles and 300 million trucks running on electricity we need massive mining as our friend has pointed, and the production of electricity should at least double. An article in nature, published last year, pointed out that we have about ten years left to redesign lithium ion batteries. Though some improvements have been made, our challenge is orders of magnitude higher than what we are able to handle right now. We are not going to change the fuel of the world, but the fuel of the world will modify our societies deeply

  • I’m startled to see that the energy sector contributes nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions and 4 times as much as the next biggest polluter. In other words getting the worlds energy ready for it to use causes half the problem. Why would we not start there? If you taxed the energy sector fir all

    I’m startled to see that the energy sector contributes nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions and 4 times as much as the next biggest polluter. In other words getting the worlds energy ready for it to use causes half the problem. Why would we not start there? If you taxed the energy sector fir all the methane they let escape and all the gas they burn off the oil wells the price of fossil fuels would shoot up. Then watch billions more pour into battery research to push harder for the solution. It’s out there but just a matter of finding it faster.