Can brine power electric cars of the future?
4 June 2012 Last updated at 06:43 BST
Electric cars may be the future, but they are not selling well yet because battery technology has not advanced far enough.
Batteries need to be lighter and last longer - and to be available at an affordable price.
But minerals from an unlikely source and brains from Silicon Valley might be changing all that, as the BBC's Alastair Leithead reports.