How the U.S. lost the Next Big Thing to China — again

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The former UniEnergy Technologies office in Mukilteo, Wash. Taxpayers spent $15 million on research to build a breakthrough battery. Then the U.S. government gave it to China. Jovelle Tamayo for NPR

Jovelle Tamayo for NPR

When a group of engineers and researchers gathered in a warehouse in Mukilteo, Wash., 10 years ago, they knew they were onto something big. They scrounged up tables and chairs, cleared out space in the parking lot for experiments and got to work.

They were building a battery —

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