There were two important advances in battery technology that could have an influence in the business world in the near future. The first one was presented by QuantumScape, a start-up backed by Volkswagen and Bill Gates. They announced that “solid-state” batteries that are created for electric vehicles, will be more efficient than batteries that have been made previously. These batteries are better in all the important ways: they hold more power, they will charge faster, and will last longer.
The second breakthrough in battery technology comes from a team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego together with California-based company zPower, and involves a rechargeable battery that is flexible and made of silver oxide-zinc. The new battery is five to ten times greater energy density than what is considered state of the art now. It is also easier to make. Most flexible batteries today need to be manufactured under strictly sterile conditions, in a vacuum. This new battery can be screen printed under normal laboratory conditions. It can be used in electronics requiring flexibility and also for wearables like soft robotics.
Any business that uses electricity should be interested in the advancement of battery technologies. It is expected that batteries will be one of the fastest trending products in the coming decades. Businesses will benefit from the science-driven improvements which will solve the problems of storing and using energy for a huge variety of products from cars to wearable robotics, machinery to phones. The age-old problem of finding and harnessing power is coming closer to its ultimate solution, allowing businesses to run with less interference, more reliability, and more flexibility.