This paper discusses the development of batteries for electric vehicles, the performance goals for the batteries, and the strategy being followed in the U.S. to promote commercialization of electric vehicles. Supported by the government, intensive development of several near-term and advanced rechargeable batteries that are projected to meet performance and cost requirements for electric vehicles is underway. Of the potential near-term batteries, lead-acid, iron-nickel oxide, and zinc-nickel oxide are the most promising for use in vehicles with limited range and applications. Much better performance is expected from second generation batteries, which include lithium-aluminum/metal sulfides, zinc/chlorine, and sodium/sulfur batteries. Successful development of electric vehicles will help conserve the world's resources of petroleum by shifting the energy source to coal and nuclear.