A handful of scientists and the companies they founded are building factories to produce next-generation battery cells, allowing carmakers to begin road testing the technologies and determine whether they are safe and reliable, reports The New York Times.
The factory operations are mostly limited in scale, and it will be several years before cars with the high-performance batteries appear in showrooms. But the beginning of assembly-line production offers the tantalizing prospect of a revolution in electric mobility.
If the technologies can be mass-produced, electric vehicles could compete with fossil-fuel-powered vehicles for convenience and undercut them on price. Harmful emissions from automobile traffic could be substantially reduced. The inventors of the technologies could easily become billionaires — if they aren’t already.
As the overall auto market stagnates, the popularity of battery-powered cars is soaring worldwide. The Biden administration recently unveiled proposed regulations that would require charging stations built with federal dollars to be located no more than 50 miles apart. Meanwhile, General Motors has gone on record saying it hopes to become a leading force in the electric vehicle industry.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.