Researchers discuss electric cars - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Researchers discuss electric cars

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RICHLAND, Wash. - Researchers from around the world are meeting at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to discuss the latest advancement in batteries and how it will impact electric cars.

Currently the electric cars use a lithium-ion battery, the same battery that powers a cell phone.  But the problem is in energy storage. In fact, the electric cars only last 40 miles per charge and can be expensive.

That's why over 250 researchers and scientists met at PNNL. They've been discussing innovative ideas to help increase energy storage. The goal is to develop an affordable, reliable electric vehicle battery, especially one with a longer charge life.

"The real challenge is to get up to 300 miles, to address range anxiety, which is one of the big barriers to the electric vehicles. And for that we need disruptive new technology, new types of lithium batteries that go beyond lithium-ion batteries," said Peter Bruce, Professor of Chemistry in Scotland.

Bruce says he's hopeful for the future of electric cars, especially with the rising cost of gas prices.