"Toward cheaper and safer materials for electrochemical energy storage" - In order to meet the growing demand for energy while protecting and preserving the environment, it will be absolutely necessary to drastically reduce the world’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources. At the core of this effort will be the ability to efficiently convert, store, and transport energy. While Li-ion batteries have saturated the market for use in small consumer devices, new materials which can be manufactured inexpensively with substantially improved performance and safety characteristics must be developed if they are to make the jump into large-scale applications like automotive transportation or grid-storage. In this talk, a general strategy for the design and elaboration of new insertion electrodes will be presented with a particular focus on our group’s efforts to develop new electrode materials using Earth-abundant and non-toxic elements like Fe and SiO2. Recent work on fast Li-ion conducting garnets for use as solid electrolytes to replace the currently used organic solvents will also be discussed.