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The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World – It’s What We’re Reading


May 2015

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World

The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World
Levine, Steve

 

Steve Levine’s The Powerhouse unfolds the hectic history of modern battery technology, specifically the now common renditions of the lithium-ion core of modern electronics and electric vehicles. Levine weaves this story as he follows both the growth of the battery division of the Argonne National Laboratory and the network of researchers who share this facility. Levine delves into the personal backgrounds and driving ambitions, and the sometimes fiercely competitive nature, of the leading researchers responsible for the development of modern battery technologies.

Levine sets this research against the backdrop of late twentieth and early twenty-first century nationalist concerns and ambitions to not only develop, but to own and claim dominance, over the battery technology needed to manufacture and deploy fleets of electric vehicles. However, this is a struggle between not just nations, including the United States and China, nor simply well-known corporations, but the individual researchers and developers themselves.

The Powerhouse is an engaging work, full of detail but not overly technical or limited to a niche audience. It is highly recommended for anyone interested in modern technology, the race to build an electric vehicle that provides both performance and longevity, or the developments leading to modern developments in power storage and the recent surge of interest in Tesla vehicles and technologies.

The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World is available in the Popular Reading section on the First Floor of the Post Learning Commons.