Once upon a time – a long, long time ago – my mother was a high school debate champion in Montana.
She’s reminded me of that every day I’ve been alive.
And so, our Thanksgiving dinners – which, for most families, involve going around the table and saying what you’re thankful for – were all about debating the year’s hot topics.
I know. It sounds like a nightmare. The very thing most people try to avoid on Thanksgiving, is the one thing we actively sought.
But, as it turns out, I like debating as much as my mom. My old man does, too. My wife has picked it up, and my 18-month-old daughter is perhaps the best debater of us all (she’s excellent at saying “No” and no one has figured out a good rebuttal for that yet – the perks of being adorable, I suppose).
As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…
Many of my best memories growing up involve sitting around the dinner table at Thanksgiving, debating climate change, or the wealth gap, or even the value of modern art, going back and forth, point-for-point, until somebody concedes – and the debate is over.
Winning the annual Thanksgiving debate at the Lango household was like a badge of honor that you got to wear all year long – until next November rolled around, and you had to earn it all over again.
This tradition lives on today, and this Thanksgiving, I know exactly the debate topic I’m bringing to the table: Electric vehicles.
Specifically, I’m ready to staunchly defend the thesis that thanks to one miraculous battery breakthrough, electric vehicles will become ubiquitous by 2030.
You see… EVs are taking over the world, but they’re going about it very slowly. I mean, we’re still at just roughly 5% auto market penetration today – and the Model S launched about a decade ago.
EVs are moving at a snail’s pace, and that’s mostly because the batteries underlying electric cars have been limiting. Namely, they don’t last very long, they take forever to recharge, and you have to replace them super often.
In short: The EV Revolution won’t go mainstream until we make better batteries.
That harsh reality here is that while batteries make things work, today’s batteries are keeping EVs from working as well as they could.
Conventional lithium-ion batteries – which are currently the dominant status quo in smartphones, smartwatches, electric cars, and so on – are built on liquid battery chemistry. That is, they’re made using a solid cathode and anode with a liquid electrolyte solution connecting the two.
These batteries have worked wonders for years. But, due to the physical constraints of dealing with a liquid electrolyte, they are now reaching their limit in terms of energy cell density – which basically means that if we want our phones, watches, and electric cars to last longer and charge faster, we need a fundamentally different battery.
Insert the battery breakthrough that will fix all of that and press the fast-forward button on the EV Revolution.
Get ready, Langos, because this is going be the best debate of the past 20 years.
And for you – well, for you, this battery breakthrough may represent the most compelling investment opportunity of the past 20 years.
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