Decades of sexy computing, web and mobile startups have emerged out of Silicon Valley built on the backs of low-cost, commoditized hardware. Some of these startups have gone on to fundamentally change technology and society. A similar thing is starting to happen—though at an early stage—around lithium-ion batteries.
While these batteries, mostly manufactured in bulk in Asian countries, have long been widely used in laptops and cell phones, similar batteries are now beginning to be made at a much higher volume and are becoming cheap enough to start to have an influential effect on both the power and auto industries.
Tesla’s battery ambitions
Tesla (with its planned huge battery factory under construction outside of Reno, Nevada) is using this low-cost battery thesis as an underlying tenant for its business model, and is probably the most well-known company leading this ‘battery-as-a-platform’ wave. However, there are many other startups, big power companies…
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