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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.

Trump political team disavows "Patriot Party" groups

Marine One carries President Trump away from the White House on Inauguration Day. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Donald Trump's still-active presidential campaign committee officially disavowed political groups affiliated with the nascent "Patriot Party" on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump briefly floated the possibility of creating a new political party to compete with the GOP — with him at the helm. But others have formed their own "Patriot Party" entities during the past week, and Trump's team wants to make clear it has nothing to do with them.

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