With the world going mobile and billions of new devices requiring electrical storage, battery technology is almost certainly due for a renaissance in the near future and recent developments suggest MIT will play a role in the next significant battery technology. Less than a week ago, we reported on work being done by MIT's Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems (LEES) that could become the first technologically significant and economically viable alternative to conventional batteries in 200 years. Now a second new and highly promising battery technology is emerging from MIT - a new type of lithium battery that could become a cheaper alternative to the batteries that now power hybrid electric cars.
Until now, lithium batteries have not had the rapid charging capability or safety level needed for use in cars. Hybrid cars now run on nickel metal hydride batteries, which power an electric motor and can rapidly recharge while the car is decelerating or standing still.
Before the material can be used commercially, the manufacturing process needs to be made less expensive, and a few other modifications will likely be necessary, Ceder said.