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Energy

The Explosive History of Lithium-Ion Batteries


Ignoring low-charge warnings has led to dead batteries in the electric Tesla Roadster. They cost up to $40,000 to replace

Photograph by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Ignoring low-charge warnings has led to dead batteries in the electric Tesla Roadster. They cost up to $40,000 to replace

The grounding of the 787 fleet was the first time in 34 years that an entire fleet of aircraft has been pulled out of servicePhotograph by ReutersThe grounding of the 787 fleet was the first time in 34 years that an entire fleet of aircraft has been pulled out of service

Boeing (BA) grounded 50 of its 787s on Jan. 16 after a battery fire forced the emergency landing of an All Nippon Airways flight. The dangerous and costly failure of the lithium-ion batteries made plenty of headlines—and not for the first time.

Dell recalled 4.1 million laptops in 2006 after several overheated or caught fire, the largest-ever consumer electronics safety recall. Defective batteries inside the iPhone 3GS have been known to overheat, expand, and split apart the device’s housingPhotographs by BloombergDell recalled 4.1 million laptops in 2006 after several overheated or caught fire, the largest-ever consumer electronics safety recall. Defective batteries inside the iPhone 3GS have been known to overheat, expand, and split apart the device’s housing

Hasto is an art director for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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