Tesla unveils a home battery
Other new ideas in battery technology could improve electric cars and cell phones.
Tesla unveiled its new Powerwall home battery system this week, marking the innovative electric car company's entry into the world of battery technology. It is a world that has become increasingly competitive in recent years, which got us thinking about where the next generation of battery technology is coming from.
The following is a short list of those companies and creators that caught our eye.
A car battery with a 300-mile range is the current target of the auto industry. So far, nobody has been able to produce one that can surpass it. But this small company out of Michigan has used its own ingenuity, and the support of GM and several other big name brands, to place itself at the top of the list of companies that may accomplish the feat. Last August Sakti3 announced that it was close to completing a battery with about double the energy density of today’s lithium-ion technology at one-fifth the cost. Such a battery could exceed the 300-mile marker and launch production of the first $25,000 mass-market electric car.
Tesla made its name with luxury electric cars but clearly has an even grander vision. Powerwall is a home battery that stores electricity generated from solar panels and powers your home with it. It also prevents inconvenient power outages by providing a backup electricity supply. At a starting price of $3,500, it's being touted as a short term-financial sacrifice that'll pay off in the long term.
What's your biggest cell phone worry? The battery dying, of course. The second? The dread of having to wait to recharge the darn thing. With this Israeli company's battery, these problems will cease to exist. That's because StoreDot's battery is able to charge in just 60 seconds. The company says it hopes to have a phone with the battery system in the hands of consumers by next year. And at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, StoreDot unveiled a technology that could charge an electric car in mere minutes.
Eos Energy Storage
Named after the Greek Goddess of the Dawn, Eos has developed a safe, long-lasting battery system called Aurora, which can store energy at a fraction of the cost of existing energy storage solutions. Eos’ technology could finally make renewables, such as wind and solar, viable economic alternatives to fossil fuels.
Nanyang Technological University
Researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore announced in 2014 they had developed a battery that charges in minutes and lasts 20 years. This is more than 10 times the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in mobile phones, tablets, and in electric vehicles. These batteries usually last about two to three years.
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