Provided in one embodiment is an electrochemical cell, comprising: (i) a plurality of electrodes, comprising a fuel electrode that comprises aluminum and an air electrode that absorbs gaseous oxygen, the electrodes being operable in a discharge mode wherein the aluminum is oxidized at the fuel electrode and oxygen is reduced at the air electrode, and (ii) an ionically conductive medium, comprising an organic solvent; wherein during non-use of the cell, the organic solvent promotes formation of a protective interface between the aluminum of the fuel electrode and the ionically conductive medium, and wherein at an onset of the discharge mode, at least some of the protective interface is removed from the aluminum to thereafter permit oxidation of the aluminum during the discharge mode.
GOVERNMENT FUNDING STATEMENT
 All publications, patents, and patent applications cited in this Specification are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety. This invention was made with U.S. government support under Contract No. DE-AR-00000038 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.