Chu's list of improvements includes batteries that last 15 years, have five to seven times more energy storage capacity and are a lot cheaper – by a factor of three – than today's packs. That's a tall order, even for someone who has the funds to keep supporting further improvements. As regular readers know, the DOE has thrown a lot of money at plug-in vehicle companies, like Tesla, Nissan and Fisker. The DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy is also investing around $400 million in advanced automotive batteries. Chu told Reuters that even if only 10 percent of the projects in that program eventually appear on the scene, they'll play a big role in making the world more cleaner and energy secure.It's not like it's 10 years off. It's about five years and it could be sooner. Meanwhile the batteries we do have today are soon going to get better by a factor of two.
UPDATE: Dan F. sent us a link to a video of Chu speaking at the conference. You can watch it after the jump.
[Source: Reuters via Treehugger]