How Alternative Battery Makers Are Trying to Compete With Lithium-Ion

By [email protected] About three years ago inside a sprawling factory southeast of Pittsburgh, a promising battery startup was churning out some of the first of its ultra-simple, nontoxic, low-cost batteries made from a combination of salt water, carbon and manganese oxide.

With $180 million in funding from some of Silicon Valley’s best-known names, including billionaire Bill Gates, it looked like the batteries could be some of the first with an alternative type of chemistry to provide low-cost storage for the power grid, buildings, remote machinery and clean energy farms.

But that vision didn’t quite pan out. Just a couple of months ago, the

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