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The Battery-Powered Future Depends on a Few Crucial Metals

The rapid decline in battery costs has opened the technology to new, growing markets

Cylindrical battery cells undergo laser welding trials at the U.K. Battery Industrialization Centre in Coventry, U.K. on Nov. 9, 2020. 
Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
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In the big, exciting future that’s measured in kilowatt- and gigawatt-hours, batteries are enabling mass electrification across many sectors. The rapid decline in battery prices has ensured burgeoning interest from electric-vehicle makers and consumer-electronics manufacturers—even from the energy industry, for enormous stationary storage systems operating on the power grid.