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About the book
  • Published: 29 February 2016
  • ISBN: 9780143128328
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $29.99
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The Powerhouse: America, China, and the Great Battery War


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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.

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.

'Mr. LeVine provides a fascinating insight into the challenges of scientific advancement, especially the difficulty of translating victories in the lab to the demands of the mass market…. Mr. LeVine has written something like a thriller . . . An important story with world-wide implications.' Wall Street Journal 
'A propulsive techno-saga.' Nature 
 
'Captivating . . . A rollicking good tale.' Joe Nocera, New York Times
 
'With the pace . . . of a thriller, [LeVine] . . . reveals how the very human foibles of scientists and entrepreneurs, as well as fundamental physics and chemistry, stand in the way of such efforts, which, if successful, could result in a new global industry and attendant jobs.' Scientific American 

  • Pub date: 29 February 2016
  • ISBN: 9780143128328
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $29.99

About the Author

Steve Levine

Steve LeVine is the author of The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea. He is the chief foreign affairs writer for BusinessWeek and is based in Washington, D.C. He was a foreign correspondent for eighteen years, posted in the Soviet Union, Pakistan, and the Philippines, reporting for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek, Financial Times, and other publications.

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