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World-Changing Potential of Next-Gen Batteries with Eli Dourado and Ethan Loosbrock (Ouros Energy)

Tue Jul 11 2023
Battery TechnologyEnergy DensityTransportationPowerElectronicsAir TravelAugmented RealityRenewable EnergySupply ChainRecyclingAerospace


The episode discusses groundbreaking advancements in battery technology, focusing on higher energy density batteries and their potential impact on transportation, power, electronics, air travel, and augmented reality. The conversation explores the challenges and opportunities in battery research, including cost reduction, material optimization, and the need for new chemistries. The importance of battery technology in the adoption of renewable energy sources is highlighted, along with the potential benefits of fully electrified cities. The episode also addresses the investment landscape, false claims in the battery industry, recycling advancements, and supply chain considerations. The future outlook includes fundraising efforts, the potential revolutionization of the aerospace industry, and the goal of bringing a commercial product to market.


Advancements in Battery Technology

Advancements in battery technology, particularly higher energy density batteries, have the potential to revolutionize transportation, power, electronics, air travel, and augmented reality. They can enable electric cars with longer ranges, eliminate range anxiety, revolutionize the aviation industry, and unlock various technological advancements.

Battery Technology Challenges and Opportunities

Battery technology faces challenges such as cost reduction, false claims, and supply chain risks. However, investing in battery improvements is crucial due to its importance and potential. Recycling advancements and diversifying the supply chain can contribute to making batteries cheaper and more sustainable.

Fundraising and Future Outlook

Fundraising efforts are underway to accelerate the development of a commercial product that could revolutionize the aerospace industry. Financing and awareness play key roles in moving faster. The goal is to bring the product to market quickly and explore potential applications.


  1. Advancements in Battery Technology
  2. Battery Technology Challenges and Opportunities
  3. Fundraising and Future Outlook

Advancements in Battery Technology

00:00 - 27:09

  • The podcast features guests Ethan Loosbrock and Eli Dorado discussing groundbreaking new technology in batteries.
  • Ethan is the founder of Auros Energy, a startup focused on building high-energy density batteries.
  • Eli is a senior research fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity and works with early-stage startups.
  • The conversation explores how lithium-ion batteries will revolutionize transportation, power, electronics, air travel, and augmented reality.
  • Batteries with higher energy density will be cheaper and enable electric cars to have longer ranges, reducing range anxiety.
  • Increasing battery density requires new chemistries to drive down costs and improve performance.
  • Cheaper and denser batteries could make electric cars more affordable and eliminate range anxiety.
  • Increased battery density could also revolutionize the aviation industry by enabling electric aircraft with longer ranges.
  • Denser batteries would unlock various technological advancements, such as VR headsets with longer battery life and AR contact lenses.
  • Ultra-cheap batteries with higher energy density could facilitate widespread adoption of solar panels and allow homes to disconnect from the grid.
  • Higher energy density batteries require less material processing, making everything cheaper and more efficient.
  • Energy density is a key metric for evaluating battery quality as it encompasses factors like energy storage, weight, and manufacturing cost.
  • Higher energy density materials lead to better standards of living by reducing resource consumption in various areas like cooking, traveling, and heating homes.
  • Advancements in technology lead to better standards of living as things become cheaper and more efficient.
  • Energy density in batteries is determined by the way lithium ions are stored and react within the battery.
  • Storing lithium ions in a reactive way enables higher density and allows for better flow of electrons.
  • Lithium is a preferred material for batteries due to its lightness and abundance.
  • Using metals with more than one electron, known as multi valence species, makes charging and discharging more complex.
  • Improving battery chemistry can reduce dependence on mining rare earth minerals and importing from potentially hostile countries.
  • Battery technology has seen incremental improvements over time, but new chemistries are needed to drive further progress.
  • Lithium-ion batteries have undergone incremental improvements over the years, mainly through material substitutions and manufacturing advancements.
  • The energy density of lithium-ion batteries has remained relatively constant, but gains in cost reduction have been achieved through scale and material optimization.
  • By using higher energy density materials and eliminating costly components, new applications for batteries can be explored.
  • Batteries are now used in various places that were previously unexpected, such as smartphones and induction cooktops.
  • Impulse Labs is developing a battery-powered induction cooktop that eliminates the need for additional electrical wiring.
  • As battery costs decrease, more use cases emerge, such as refrigerators with backup batteries and routers with built-in power supply during blackouts.
  • Advancements in energy density could enable electric vehicles with a thousand-mile range, surpassing traditional gas cars.
  • Electric propulsion in flying cars could reduce the need for roads and transform transportation systems.
  • E-bikes and scooters could become more popular if battery costs decrease, leading to reduced congestion and improved air quality in cities.

Battery Technology Challenges and Opportunities

26:50 - 51:51

  • A fully electrified city would be closer to an urban paradise, with quieter and cleaner transportation.
  • Electric vehicles are more efficient and can be built smaller than internal combustion vehicles due to fewer moving parts and lower total mass.
  • Ethan's interest in batteries stemmed from his passion for environmentalism and his belief that battery technology is a limiting factor in the adoption of renewable energy sources.
  • The cost of batteries remains a significant barrier to the widespread use of electric vehicles, solar power, and wind energy.
  • Ethan gained experience in battery research through internships and working at battery startups before starting his own company.
  • Eli became interested in Ethan's battery ideas after hearing about them from a mutual friend. He asked numerous questions to understand the technology better and decided to support Ethan's vision.
  • Eli's diligent process of asking questions, writing memos, and researching has given him a comprehensive understanding of batteries and their applications.
  • The investment in battery technology is challenging due to false claims and uncertainties surrounding costs.
  • Battery industry has seen a lot of false claims and over-optimism in the past.
  • There have been numerous battery startups that raised lots of money but faced challenges down the road.
  • Despite failures, there are some successful companies like A123 systems, Group 14, and CELA.
  • Investing in battery improvements is crucial due to its importance and potential.
  • Scaling battery production may be premature without further energy density improvements.
  • Recycling batteries using plasma can restore materials to brand new with minimal energy input.
  • Plasma recycling reduces the need for mining and manufacturing from scratch, making batteries cheaper.
  • The time scale for battery advancements depends on the applications they are used for.
  • The electrification of cars and aerospace will take a long time to fully implement.
  • Scaling the right chemistries for batteries is crucial, as well as sourcing them in the US for national competitiveness.
  • There are concerns about a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan and its impact on the battery supply chain.
  • Having a robust supply chain in place reduces the likelihood of miscalculations and leverage from China.
  • Reducing risk factors by diversifying the supply chain is important in battery manufacturing.
  • Batteries are in a similar position now as oil was in its early stages, with vertical integration being a solution to supply chain risks.
  • The goal is to have full control over the battery production process, from raw materials to finished sales.
  • Different battery chemistries have trade-offs, but if one chemistry can excel in all metrics, it would be preferred.
  • The recycling factor may affect raw material mining in the future.
  • Potential outcomes include leasing or subscribing to batteries instead of buying them outright.
  • The focus should be on commercializing and scaling battery technology quickly for various benefits.

Fundraising and Future Outlook

46:18 - 51:51

  • Fundraising is currently underway to accelerate the development of a commercial product.
  • Financing and awareness of potential applications are key factors in moving faster.
  • A good enough battery could revolutionize the aerospace industry.
  • Eli's credibility and audience have brought attention to the project.
  • Investing in something that can change the world is exciting.
  • The goal is to bring the product to market as quickly as possible.
  • Recommended episodes for further exploration are mentioned.