zenn.bmpEEStor, the obsessively secret company backed by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, will unveil its new battery technology this year — promising to make electric vehicles much more compelling.

Technology Review has the scoop:

The company boldly claims that its system, a kind of battery-ultracapacitor hybrid based on barium-titanate powders, will dramatically outperform the best lithium-ion batteries on the market in terms of energy density, price, charge time, and safety. Pound for pound, it will also pack 10 times the punch of lead-acid batteries at half the cost and without the need for toxic materials or chemicals, according to the company.

The implications are enormous and, for many, unbelievable. Such a breakthrough has the potential to radically transform a transportation sector already flirting with an electric renaissance, improve the performance of intermittent energy sources such as wind and sun, and increase the efficiency and stability of power grids–all while fulfilling an oil-addicted America’s quest for energy security.

The ZENN car (pictured atop) will be the first commercial application of the Texas-based EEStor’s new energy system.

Kleiner led a $3 million round of venture capital into the company. We wrote about it here. Morton Topfer, former vice chairman of Dell and mentor to Michael Dell, is on the board.

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