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Competitive Electric Car Battery May Be 5 Years Away, Chu Says

Development of an electric car battery able to compete with the internal combustion engine may be five years away, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.

The storage capacity of current electric car batteries needs to be increased by a factor of six or seven times in order to be acceptable to car drivers, Chu said. Their lives need to be extended to 15 years, and the cost needs to be reduced by a factor of three, he said.

“Is there any hope of being competitive with an internal combustion car engine? The answer is yes,” Chu said in a speech in Cancun, Mexico, where United Nations climate envoys from 193 nations are holding global warming treaty talks. “It’s not like it’s 10 years off. It might be 5 years off.”

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