With the rise of electric vehicles, the renewable-energy industry needs to find ways to store energy, and with the stimulus of this big trend, technology experts are actively developing new battery technologies.
Last week, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy (Bill Joy) and the support of his company Ionic Materials show a new design of battery, in particular is solid alkaline battery design, it is said that the new battery cheaper than lithium ion batteries is safer.
"One thing people don't realize is that alkaline batteries can charge," joy told bloomberg.I think you've given up."
New alkaline batteries may be used in three major areas: consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and power grid energy storage systems.Technology is not ready for commercial use, says Mr Joy.Rechargeable alkaline battery technology will be ready for commercial use within five years, he said, adding that Ionic Materials does not have a plant to make the battery.
Prototype design confirms that alkaline batteries can charge up to 400 cycles, and Ionic Materials believes that the number of cycles can be doubled.
In addition to the uncertain commercial future, rechargeable alkaline batteries have one drawback, which is heavier than today's lithium-ion batteries.
In general, alkaline batteries are used in zinc and hard.
Ionic Materials, which is studying new alkaline batteries, has made progress and will replace zinc with cheaper aluminium.Aluminum alkaline batteries are lighter than lithium-ion ones, but are cheaper than today's alkaline batteries.
Founder of the nonprofit sustainable energy research institute, the rocky mountain institute lovis (Amory Lovins) when it comes to Ionic Materials, said: "they use a unusual electrolyte battery production, the battery use cheaper Materials, but also benign."
Still, lowis remains cautious and does not know whether the alkaline battery will succeed in going to the mass market."Battery technology is very difficult," he said. "I want to see what they have and what can be tested to see if they can go to the market."
The price of lithium-ion batteries has dropped a lot in the last few years.According to research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the price of lithium-ion batteries in 2010 was about $1,000 per kilowatt hour, down to $273 last year.
Future lithium-ion batteries will need to be larger, and BNEF predicts that sales will accelerate, accounting for 54% of new car sales by 2040.BNEF thinks a major driver of electric car growth is the drop in battery prices.
BNEF electric cars in 2017 in the outlook report, said: "by the 2025-2030, the electric car will really take off, because of the lithium ion battery prices would fall a lot, could fall by more than 30% by 2030."
In the years and even decades to come, because of the popularity of electric vehicles and the need for better energy storage solutions, the battery race will continue.The key question is: can new battery breakthrough technologies emerge from the lab and become a viable option for the mass market?