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Publisher's Summary

A Soul of the New Machine for our time, a gripping account of invention, commerce, and duplicity in the age of technology
A worldwide race is on to perfect the next engine of economic growth, the advanced lithium-ion battery. It will power the electric car, relieve global warming, and catapult the winner into a new era of economic and political mastery. Can the United States win?
Steve LeVine was granted unprecedented access to a secret federal laboratory outside Chicago, where a group of geniuses is trying to solve this next monumental task of physics. But these scientists - almost all foreign born - are not alone. With so much at stake, researchers in Japan, South Korea, and China are in the same pursuit. The drama intensifies when a Silicon Valley start-up licenses the federal laboratory's signature invention with the aim of a blockbuster sale to the world's biggest carmakers.
The Powerhouse is a real-time, two-year thrilling account of big invention, big commercialization, and big deception. It exposes the layers of competition and ambition, aspiration and disappointment behind this great turning point in the history of technology.
©2015 Steve LeVine (P)2015 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

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By Michael on 04-22-15

Nitty Gritty Battery Story

This is a very detailed story of the scientists, car companies, government programs, and venture capitalists, involved in the development of the battery of the future. This tries to do quite a lot and may be too detailed for many readers. I understand those that feel it was boring. It covers the stories of battery development, the process of vying for a big government projects, the greed and maneuvering of venture capital funded startup companies, and how EV’s might affect the environment and the oil industry. Although this was not an easy listen, I learned a lot and enjoyed the various storylines. Overall I was very satisfied with this book. The one thing was unsatisfying is the story ends abruptly with the battery of the future still in flux. The narration was very good, dealing with the technical detail very well.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Curiosity on 06-28-15

Great if this is a topic of interest

Great mix of science and narrative, so long as you are interested in battery technology. Not much discussion of Elon Musk or Tesla at all, in case that is a reason you're considering this book.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Roberts on 03-10-17

story about different research companies

quite hard to follow with so many characters - at some point i no longer knew which battery guy is working for which company, and i did listen several chapters in each sitting. it was interesting, but maybe too detailed about labaratories scientists to my liking.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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