Orthoborate salts suitable for use as electrolytes in lithium batteries and methods for making the electrolyte salts are provided. The electrolytic salts have one of the formulae (I). In this formula anionic orthoborate groups are capped with two bidentate chelating groups, Y.sub.1 and Y.sub.2. Certain preferred chelating groups are dibasic acid residues, most preferably oxalyl, malonyl and succinyl, disulfonic acid residues, sulfoacetic acid residues and halo-substituted alkylenes. The salts are soluble in non-aqueous solvents and polymeric gels and are useful components of lithium batteries in electrochemical devices.
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 Financial assistance for this project was provided by the U.S. Government through the Department of Energy under Grant Nos. DEFG0393ER14378-003 and DEFG0395ER45541. Therefore, the United States Government may own certain rights to this invention.