In 1800, Alessandro Volta invented the first version of the thing we now call a battery. We’ve come a long way from his initial gadget to the lithium-ion batteries that power much of our lives, including our phones, batteries, cars, satellites, and more.

Batteries are undergoing a kind of renaissance. They’re more powerful than ever, and we’ve gotten smarter about how to use them. Besides being an important part of our everyday lives — who doesn’t get stressed out when their phone is at 9 percent? — they’re also playing a role in storing renewable energy.

The US is losing the high-stakes global battery war

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