Unlike magical energy, chemical energy can be stored and converted into electrical energy when needed. However, the aether affects the conversion from chemical to electrical energy in a way such that the more energy is needed the more inefficient the process is.

The consequence of this is that batteries are practical and useful for small hand held appliances or for temporary installations where no other power source is available. Portable computers are technically possible but the batteries they require are too large and heavy for them to be practical.

The inefficiency of batteries becomes even more of an issue when it comes to larger machines. A battery powerful enough to fuel a ground vehicle would be too heavy for that vehicle to support.

It's not uncommon for batteries to be used to power the engines of airships though. As the lift of the airship isn't powered by the engine the size of the battery becomes less of an issue.