A team that has been investigating ways to increase battery life for mobile devices and the like says it has made a breakthrough, one that achieves twice the capacity into the same space of current battery cells. The process uses a tweak of existing lithium technology, which means it could be incorporated into existing production lines.
The team from MIT’s commercial spin-off SolidEnergy Systems says the magic trick it’s come up with involves replacing the graphite anode with one made from a lithium-based foil instead. This denser and safer alternative ends up in a battery tech they call li-metal, and it’s manufacture is said to be doable on current lithium-ion tools, so there’s really no reason it can’t quickly become a thing and we’ll all have twice the battery power in our pockets from 2017.
SolidEnergy Systems’ CEO Qichao Hu told MIT: “Industry standard is that electric vehicles need to go at least 200 miles on a single charge. We can make the battery half the size and half the weight, and it will travel the same distance, or we can make it the same size and same weight, and now it will go 400 miles on a single charge.”
It would be great to believe that Apple, Samsung, and the like would use this new process to double the life of the batteries used to power their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile tech. However, if past experience teaches us anything, what the mobile device makers just heard was, “We can make our smartphones thinner, and still get the same battery life!” (SIGH!)
(Via Gizmodo UK)