A worldwide race is on to perfect the next engine of economic growth, the advanced lithium-ion battery. It will power the electric car, relieve global warming, and catapult the winner into a new era of economic and political mastery. Can the United States win?
Steve LeVine was granted unprecedented access to a secure federal laboratory outside Chicago, where a group of geniuses is trying to solve this next monumental task of physics. But these scientists–almost all foreign born–are not alone. With so much at stake, researchers in Japan, South Korea, and China are in the same pursuit. The drama intensifies when a Silicon Valley start-up licenses the federal laboratory’s signature invention with the aim of a blockbuster sale to the world’s biggest carmakers.
The Powerhouse is a real-time, two-year account of big invention, big commercialization, and big deception. It exposes the layers of aspiration and disappointment, competition and ambition behind this great turning point in the history of technology.
“Journalist LeVine (The Oil and the Glory) offers an inside look at the race among industrialized nations to develop a world-changing battery technology. The story’s intensity is bolstered by the high stakes…But LeVine wisely stays focused on the competition as it unfolds, luring readers into the drama with clear explanations of the American players involved in both the public and private sectors.”—Publishers Weekly