The subtitle of veteran journalist Steve LeVine's latest book, The Powerhouse, is Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World. As he demonstrates, before the world can be saved, the challenge is to get the show on the road in an electric car.
LeVine, a reporter, blogger and author, took his investigative skills into the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to see how American scientists are approaching the daunting task of creating a dependable, powerful battery for electric automobiles.
The project is part of what is described as a "worldwide race…to perfect the next engine of economic growth, the advanced lithium-ion battery." The contest for power involves not only American-based scientists, but researchers in Japan, South Korea and China. Ambition, failure, competition and commerce all play a role in this story of a modern technological adventure.
LeVine, the Washington correspondent for the online news site Quartz, has also written about another kind of power. He is author of the 2007 book, The Oil and The Glory, about petroleum pursuit on the Caspian Sea, and the 2008 profile of Russia titled Putin's Labyrinth.