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Battery researcher Jie Xiao. Photo: Andrea Starr/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

A new battery material design relying on more nickel could lead to electric vehicle power systems that are cheaper and offer greater range.

Why it matters: Today's batteries are often bulky and expensive, provide limited range and rely on rare materials that are often sourced from conflict-torn regions.

Details:

  • The new design, developed by researchers at the Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, improves on current lithium-ion batteries through the use of a single crystal, nickel-rich cathode.
  • The researchers estimate that the single-crystal, nickel-rich cathode packs at least 25% more energy than the lithium-ion batteries used in today’s electric vehicles.
  • The findings were published on Friday in the journal Science.

What's next: Battery researcher Jie Xiao said it’ll likely take around five years for the tech to come to market.

Go deeper

Robbie Diamond: U.S. should not depend on China for rare earth minerals

Axios' Joann Mueller (right) and SAFE's Robbie Diamond. Photo: Axios

The United States should wean itself from dependence on China for its rare earth minerals and metals supply, Robbie Diamond, CEO of Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), said on Friday in an Axios virtual event.

Why it matter: Rare earths are crucial in the manufacturing of commercial electronics, military technologies and the batteries and magnets used in electrical vehicles — and China is the world's leading processor and exporter of those materials.

1 hour ago - Health

Treasury begins dispersing $350 billion in COVID relief funding to states and localities

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury on Monday began giving state and local governments access to $350 billion in emergency funding from the American Rescue Plan, the department announced Monday.

Why it matters: Though the money is aimed at helping state, local, territorial and tribal governments recover from the pandemic's economic fallout, the administration will generally give them wide latitude on how they can use the funds.

Game developers break silence around salaries

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Developers are sharing their salaries on Twitter under the hashtag #GameDevPaidMe to encourage pay transparency in their industry.

The big picture: The hashtag started circulating last year, but has returned periodically as developers fight for better working conditions. Salary sharing is a way to equalize the field. By removing the secrecy, as well as the stigma, around discussing pay, workers have more power to advocate for themselves when negotiating salaries and raises.

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