The Electric Battery
Charging Forward to a Low-Carbon Future
by Kevin B. Jones, Benjamin B. Jervey, Matthew Roche, and Sara Barnowski
April 2017, 212pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4901-5
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4902-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Is the modern electric battery the missing link between the clean energy economy and a sustainable environment?

An easy-to-understand and engaging exploration of the battery's development across history that reveals current technological advances, celebrates the innovators who have led the charge forward, and shows how the electric battery represents the path to a low-carbon future.

Now more than ever, consumers want to understand not only the basic facts behind the electric battery and the challenges of battery storage in everyday devices, including vehicles, but also whether increased, widespread application of battery technology has real environmental benefits that could change the future of our planet. Is 21st-century battery technology the foundation on which our low-carbon future will be built? The Electric Battery: Charging Forward to a Low-Carbon Future documents the long history of the battery and identifies the reasons it is now a key to achieving a low-carbon world.

The book provides an unprecedented and easy-to-understand explanation of both the policy issues and technological challenges facing the battery in the quest to significantly reduce humanity’s collective “carbon footprint” on the earth. Readers will be able to intelligently evaluate the chances of electric storage batteries ultimately becoming as mainstream as petroleum-product-fueled infrastructure and vehicles. The chapters in the book break down the complexity of the technology and elucidate the historic confluence of events that makes battery technology economically viable to any reader looking to understand the technological and policy breakthroughs that could enable a low-carbon future—for this generation as well as for subsequent ones.


  • Demystifies the electric battery, explains how modern technology has overcome its historic limitations, and presents how this seemingly ordinary technology will enable a new era of sustainability for future generations
  • Addresses a topic of growing interest among general readers as electric cars designed to be affordable to the middle class from major manufacturers such as Chevrolet and Nissan are joined by new options from upstart electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla
  • Written by an Institute for Energy and the Environment research team with the requisite knowledge of energy policy and of science, as well as communication skills, to research and present a compelling narrative on electric batteries past, present, and future
Kevin B. Jones, PhD, is director of Vermont Law School's Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE) and professor of energy technology and policy. He leads the IEE's Smart Grid Project and the Energy Clinic, is coauthor of Praeger's A Smarter, Greener Grid: Forging Environmental Progress through Smart Energy Policies and Technologies, and has written extensively on distributed energy resources.

Benjamin B. Jervey is the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School. He is the climate and environment columnist for GOOD Magazine, where he served as the first environment editor. He has previously published two books, and he has written regularly for National Geographic, Grist, DeSmog, Ensia, and The Huffington Post.

Matthew Roche graduated from Vermont Law School in 2016 and was a research associate at the Institute for Energy and the Environment. He was a staff editor at Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and formerly worked with the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities Program.

Sara Barnowski is a third-year law student at Vermont Law School and a Research Associate with the IEE. She holds degrees in environmental engineering from Stanford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has worked with CoEfficient, LLC and the Carbon War Room. Barnowski was an IDEAS Project Winner while at MIT.


"[A] solid addition to a collection focused on energy and public policy. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; professionals and general readers."—Choice, February 1, 2018

"At a time when scientists tell us we must aggressively transition away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we will need to be able to store sustainable energy for use in homes, businesses, and transportation. In The Electric Battery, the authors show how the electric battery is a key to achieving our sustainable energy revolution."—U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

"The key to a better, sustainable future is not just clean, renewable energy but also reliable, affordable storage. This book is a must-read for everyone thinking about storage."—Carol M. Browner, EPA Administrator, 1993-2001

“In The Electric Battery, Jones and his team provide a detailed overview of the technologies, policies, and market dynamics shaping the energy storage sector in direct, accessible language. A tool for policy makers and industry alike, understanding the trends laid out in this book will be essential for anyone working to build the clean energy economy and limit the impacts of global climate change.”—Gavin Bade, Editor, Utility Dive
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