The cutthroat battery war between the U.S., China, and Europe is all about emulating the unsung king of silicon chips

When revolution swallowed China in 1949, the United States admitted a few thousand people who took flight. Among them was an aspiring 18-year-old writer named Zhang Zhongmou, who, leaving his parents behind, landed in Boston, where he had an uncle. Four years later, Zhang graduated from MIT, though not with…


The trick will be keeping all the innards cool

Some time, years in the future, our transportation mindsets may change — we may forget all about what we now regard as the convenient corner gasoline station, and the reliably quick fill-up while rushing to an appointment or dropping off the kids. Instead, most of us will have new muscle…


Not so fast for EVs, LFP’s comeback, tinkering with lithium sulfur

Each Wednesday, The Mobilist highlights reader articles on Medium, comments, and updates.

About that fait accompli: Across the world of electric vehicles and batteries, the accepted wisdom is that Americans — and motorists everywhere — are on the cusp of a big switch. En mass, they are about to discard…


In a much-overlooked shift, Ford, VW and Tesla have rushed to an old chemistry

Last week, Ford CEO Jim Farley made a big splash with his plans to go digital, mine data, and leverage connectivity. Ford was going to “lead the electric revolution” with an “ion boost” and reduce its battery costs by 40% by the middle of the decade, with more to come…


Toyota bets that many people will want only partial electrification

Electric vehicles are still too expensive to turn the eye of many mainstream Americans, but the atmosphere around gasoline propulsion has turned suddenly funereal: Activist investors and a judge this week inflicted powerful blows against the biggest players in Big Oil. …


Solid Power pivot, Ford wakes up, Cyber threat

Pivot at Solid Power? In December, Solid Power, the Denver-based solid-state battery startup, announced a big achievement — it had scaled up its pure lithium-metal anodes to an industry-standard, 20-amp-hours, an impressive 22-layer cell with specific energy density of a whopping 330 watt-hours per kilogram. It had a couple of…


Colonial and Solar Winds were dress rehearsals for this age of road mayhem

If American motorists behave like typical consumers, they will notice a steep drop in the price of electric vehicles around the middle of the decade, and begin to snap them up. …


What, should it just give up a $42-billion-a-year golden goose?

America is the country of the pickup truck, and for decades the zenith of American pickup ownership has been the Ford F-150, the most popular vehicle on the road. Whether they have needed one to haul a trailer filled with construction equipment, or to just make a personal statement in…


Electric pickups, Kia in NY, road trip

Each Wednesday, The Mobilist highlights reader articles on Medium, comments, and updates.

‘This sucker’s quick’: Ford, maker of the F-150 pickup, the most popular vehicle of any kind for the last four decades, is finally unveiling an electric version, called the Lightning. My own impression from years of informal conversation…


Under the radar, Willett Kempton is one of the most-cited researchers in EVs

Until the middle of the decade, electric vehicles will cost more on average than combustion. So to attract buyers beyond first-movers, automakers have resorted to sales gimmicks. Among them has been this notional argument: If you have the right technology, you can earn extra dollars by selling the charge in…

Steve LeVine

Editor at Large, Medium, covering the turbulence all around us, electric vehicles, batteries, social trends. Writing The Mobilist. Ex-Axios, Quartz, WSJ, NYT.

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