Longer-lasting electric car batteries, and Big Tech’s fightback against Congress’ antitrust plans

Fully charged: Electric vehicles are becoming more popular, but they’re still constrained by how far they’re able to travel on a single charge — a Tesla Model 3 can go for about 350 miles before it needs to be recharged. In a quest to build batteries that can take us farther safely, startup Solid Power is working to make solid-state batteries that could pack more energy into a smaller space.

Battery powered: The company makes battery cells that replace the liquid used as the electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries with ceramic layers. This could unlock new options for battery chemistry, potentially allowing solid batteries to be swapped in. It has taken a step towards testing the technology in vehicles, starting up a large-scale pilot manufacturing line.

A note of caution: Questions remain about whether companies making solid electrolytes will be able to produce them on a large scale. Inorganic materials can be brittle and may be difficult to move during manufacturing. Another concern about solid batteries is how well they can withstand degradation over time. Read the full story.

—Casey Crownhart

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun / important / scary / fascinating stories about technology.

1 Big Tech is spooked by Congress’ proposed crackdown
Tech giants are pulling out all the stops to try to avert efforts to curb their market power. (FT $)
+ Advocates are racing to get it over the line before the midterm elections. (CNBC)
+ What does breaking up Big Tech really mean? (MIT Technology Review)

2 The biggest NFT marketplace is facing a reckoning
OpenSea is having to pay out vast sums of money to settle claims of theft and plagiarism. (NYT $)
+ The voice of the crypto naysayers is getting louder. (WP $)
+ Why this crypto crash feels different to those before it. (The Guardian)
+ Japan has become one of the first countries to introduce a legal framework around stablecoins. (Bloomberg $)
+ The obsession with web3 is not without casualties. (Motherboard)

3 One of America’s biggest baby formula plants has restarted production
Good news for parents and caregivers grappling with widespread shortages. (BBC)
+ The FDA is facing an investigation into its handling of the shortage. (NPR)
+ The baby formula shortage has birthed a shady online marketplace. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Migrants are documenting dangerous journeys to Europe on TikTok
Social media platforms and EU lawmakers are at loggerheads over illegal migration content. (Rest of World)

5 You can expect to get reinfected with covid
It’s likely we’ll need more, and better, vaccines. (Wired $)

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