SolidEnergy, an MIT spin-off company, has developed a new type of battery for consumer electronics which is twice as dense as current Li-ion batteries. It can hold twice the amount of ions resulting in double battery life as compared to traditional batteries used in consumer electronics like smartphones, drones and electric cars.
The battery is developed by Qichao Hu, who founded SolidEnergy in 2012 and it is just as safe and long-lasting as current batteries. The new technology essentially swaps out a common battery anode material, graphite, for very thin, high-energy lithium-metal foil, which can hold more ions — and, therefore, provide more energy capacity. In addition to other advantages, the new batteries are made using existing Li-ion manufacturing equipment, which makes them scalable.
“With two-times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time, as a lithium ion battery. Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium ion battery, but now it will last twice as long,” says Hu.
Developers of the battery showcased their technology last year where a battery half the physical size of iPhone 6’s battery (1,810 mAh) offered about 2,000 mAh. By increasing the physical size of the new battery to match the iPhone’s battery, it could have stored more than double the amp-hours. Soon after the demonstration, SolidEnergy was able to raise about $12 million.
The company plans to start the sale of new batteries in November – just in time for 2017 smartphones to make use of them. In 2018, these batteries will make way to electric cars.