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How to cut through battery-industry hype

A lithium-ion battery production line.
  • Akshat Rathi
By Akshat Rathi

Senior reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Much reporting on batteries is shallow. Partially, it’s because most battery companies are secretive, making it hard to get the information needed to parse hyped claims. But it’s also because reporters don’t always ask the right questions. Below are the questions worth asking and the sources we used to develop a more clear-eyed perspective on the industry.


Every few years, somebody makes a claim to have built a battery than can be fully charged in five minutes. It’s one of the many claims that make it sound as if the next revolutionary battery is going to show up in your smartphone, or in your car, next month. As a reporter who writes about batteries, I get at least one of these incredulous claims every month. Here are the questions I ask to tell whether the claim is hype or reality.

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