Seeking the holy grail of batteries

Which companies will win the race to develop better batteries?

On the Catalyst with Shayle Kann podcast this week:

If there were a holy grail of electric vehicle batteries, it would be lightweight, long-range and fast-charging. It would last a million miles and cost less than anything produced today.

So in the booming EV market, what kind of battery will check all those boxes? Who will invent it? And do we really need all those features in one battery in the first place?

In this episode, Shayle talks to Sam Jaffe, vice president of battery storage solutions at E-Source. They trace the history of the two major competing lithium-ion chemistries: lithium iron (or ferrous) phosphate (LFP) and nickel manganese cobalt (NMC).

Sam and Shayle also discuss the factors that shaped this competition, including China, Tesla and access to capital. They discuss new partnerships between battery manufacturers and automakers, including LG and GM, Samsung SDI and Stellantis, and ACC and Mercedes.

Plus, they cover questions such as:

  • Who decides which chemistries to develop: automakers or battery manufacturers? 

  • Will a small number of chemistries dominate, or will there be a rapid diversification in battery chemistries to meet different needs?

  • Is fast-charging a nice-to-have or need-to-have?

  • Will the rising costs of battery materials, especially lithium, slow the adoption of EVs?

Plus, Sam explains why he is no longer bearish on vehicle-to-grid charging.


Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more.

Solar Power International and Energy Storage International are returning in person this year as part of RE+. Come join everyone in Anaheim for the largest, B2B clean energy event in North America. Catalyst listeners can receive 15% off a full conference, non-member pass using promo code CANARY15.Register here.