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Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric…
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Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium…

by Seth Fletcher

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Excellent. The author is a science reporter and this book is both an easy read and also informative and well researched (it was recommended to me by an academic, a Fellow of the Royal Society which says it all really). It covers the history of Lithium cells and puts flesh on the dry bones of Lithium supply. A nice choice of title too!
  John_Hardy | Oct 23, 2011 |
Reportage, much of it on batteries and lithium. Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are Fletcher's main examples of electric cars. He of course cites air pollution and carbon emissions as reasons for lessening the prevalence of the infernal combustion engine but, all too typically, he leaves noise pollution virtually unmentioned. (Lack of attention to and consciousness of noise pollution pervades society generally.)
  fpagan | Jul 25, 2011 |
This is a detailed history of the lithium-oim batteery developmemt and on-going refinement. There are no photos or illustrations. There are no first-person accounts of using any of the batteries, only a few interviews with the developers about the testing, designing and manufacturing phase of making a product.

There is a a little background on early car batteries from around 1900 to 1915, and again about the GM EV1. But there is nothing at all on hybrid autos, especially nothing at all on nickel-metal hydride batteries that power most high milage autos today.

The focus of the book is lithium batteries and ristricts topics directly addressing that battery, or tries to. However the author does stray in the end to sulphur and silicon.

For a history of the lithium electrode in batteries, this is a good reference. ( )
1 vote billsearth | Jun 21, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0809030535, Hardcover)

The sleek electronic tools that have become so ubiquitous—laptops, iPods, eReaders, and smart phones—are all powered by lithium batteries. Chances are you’ve got some lithium on your person right now. But aside from powering a mobile twenty first-century lifestyle, the third element on the periodic table may also hold the key to an environmentally sustainable, oil-independent future. From electric cars to a “smart” power grid that can actually store electricity, letting us harness the powers of the sun and the wind and use them when we need them, lithium—a metal half as dense as water, created in the first minutes after the Big Bang and found primarily in some of the most uninhabitable places on earth—is the key to setting us on a path toward a low-carbon energy future. It’s also shifting the geopolitical chessboard in profound ways.

In Bottled Lightning, the science reporter Seth Fletcher takes us on a fascinating journey, from the salt flats of Bolivia to the labs of MIT and Stanford, from the turmoil at GM to cutting-edge lithium-ion battery start-ups, introducing us to the key players and ideas in an industry with the power to reshape the world. Lithium is the thread that ties together many key stories of our time: the environmental movement; the American auto industry, staking its revival on the electrification of cars and trucks; the struggle between first-world countries in need of natural resources and the impoverished countries where those resources are found; and the overwhelming popularity of the portable, Internet-connected gadgets that are changing the way we communicate. With nearly limitless possibilities, the promise of lithium offers new hope to a foundering American economy desperately searching for a green-tech boom to revive it.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Did you know that the tools that have become absolutely integral to your life--our laptop, iPod, and cell phone--re all powered by lithium batteries? Chances are you've got some lithium on your person right now. The third element on the periodic table may also hold the key to an environmentally sustainable, oil independent future. From electric cars to a "smart" power grid that can actually store electricity, letting us harness the powers of the sun and wind and use them when we need them, lithium--metal found only in some of the most uninhabitable places on Earth--setting us on a path toward a carbon-free future. It's also shifting the geopolitical chessboard in profound ways. In this illuminating, entertaining, and timely book, the science reporter Seth Fletcher takes us on a fascinating journey, from the salt flats of Bolivia to the labs of MIT and Stanford, from the turmoil at GM to cutting-edge lithium-ion battery start-ups, introducing us to the key players and ideas in an industry with the power to reshape the world. Lithium is the thread that ties together many key stories of our time: the environmental movement; the American auto industry, betting it all on the electrification of cars and trucks; the struggle between first-world countries in need of natural resources and the countries where those resources are found; and, finally, a foundering American economy, desperately searching for a green-tech boom to revive it"-- "An exploration of the rise of lithium batteries and the impications of the new energy economy"--… (more)

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