We provide a liquid electrolyte for a lithium-sulfur battery. Electrolytes of the invention may include a protecting additive; a lithium salt (in addition to LiNO.sub.3, if that is selected as the protecting additive); at least one electrolyte solvent; and a dissolved electrochemically active material comprising sulfur. In one embodiment an electrolyte includes 0.1-2 M of one or more of LiPF.sub.6, LiBF.sub.4, LiAsF.sub.6, LiClO.sub.4, LiCF.sub.3SO.sub.3, LiN(CF.sub.3SO.sub.2).sub.2, 0.1-1 M LiNO.sub.3, at least one nonaqueous solvent; and dissolved electrochemically active material comprising sulfur in the form of at least one of a soluble lithium polysulfide and/or organodisulfide compounds, which is used in a lithium-sulfur cell and a battery having a plurality of lithium-sulfur cells.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 Portions of this invention were made using funds from the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Vehicle Technologies of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-EE0005475. The United States government may have certain rights in this invention.