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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.