The electrodes are mostly science but the electrolyte seems to be mostly art i.e. the art of finding the right additive to control formation of the SEI layer, prevent dendrite formation, enhance ion mobility etc. Thus it is hard to predict breakthroughs. It's try a pinch of this and see what happens then try a pinch of that and see what happens and then try a pinch of this and that and see what happens. I liken it in my mind to coming up with the perfect recipe for beer. It takes tons of trial and error experimentation and years to do. With beer you know if you've been successful in a couple of months but one of the most important things about a battery is its longevity. Thus lots (really years) of cycle testing is going to be necessary to find a new electrolyte that gives good specific energy, is safe, can be managed at high and low temperature AND will last 8 years in an automobile without losing much capacity. Like the rest I am hopeful and confident that eventually battery technology will get there but I don't think it is going to be as quick as we'd like. I think increased demand will tend to raise battery costs perhaps faster than the battery scientists can invent means to lower them (of course these are coupled). Only time will tell.