One thing’s for sure, out of all the tech industry’s ravenous advancements, battery tech has been the slowest to evolve. We’re basically still using the same lithium-ion batteries we were 10 years ago, and we all know how battery life sucks. Now Toyota may have the answer, and it looks like it’s going to double battery capacity.
The answer lies in magnesium. The dull, flexible metal that burns with an incredibly bright white light. Unlike lithium, magnesium is abundant, and therefore relatively cheap. It’s also got a positive charge of two, compared to lithium’s one, which means twice as much charge for the same weight of battery. That either means double the battery life, which I don’t know about you but what I’d be after, or smaller batteries in your gadgets.
It also means we should get double the range out of electric cars, which is definitely good news considering all-electric cars normally top out in the under 200-mile range. There’s still a while to go yet, but Toyota thinks it’s finally solved some of the biggest hurdles to magnesium batteries. It’s good to see that there’s finally some progress in alternative cells that might just do us the business sooner rather than later. Just don’t expect your iPhone 6 or Galaxy S 4 to come packing a three-day battery life, yet. [Chemical Communications via Technology Review]