A negative electrode for a rechargeable battery comprises a zinc oxide member doped with one or more metals and thereafter coated with a conductive layer of carbon or carbon doped with an element selected from the group consisting of fluorine, nitrogen, boron, and a mixture of two or more thereof. The electrode material is prepared by admixing ZnO or doped ZnO with carbon or a carbon-based material and then heating the admixture to form ZnO with a conductive layer. The ZnO can be doped with a first metal and then a second metal.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 The work described here was partially supported by the United States Government under Contract No. N62583-12-C-0705, awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense, and under Contract No. DE-AR0000382, awarded by ARPA-E of U.S. Department of Energy and by NYSERDA under Agreement No. 31176. The Federal Government may have certain rights in this invention.