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California-based Sila Nanotechnologies

Silicon eyed as way to boost electric car battery potential

The race to build a better electric car battery is turning to silicon, with several companies working to engineer types of the material that can boost driving range and cut production costs. About 500,000 electric vehicles (EVs) were sold globally in 2016, a figure that is expected to jump sevenfold by 2022, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That increase is forecast to be helped by government mandates to cut tailpipe emissions by banning gasoline and diesel-powered cars. But many drivers have so…