In a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in research published in the March edition of the journal Energy & Environmental Science, John Goodenough and colleagues at the University of Texas report that their new battery technology could produce a safe, non-explosive cell able to power an electric car much longer than current batteries do — with charging times measured in minutes, not hours.
“Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted,” Goodenough said in a statement issued through the university. “We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries.”
The new cells — which use, of all things, glass — also promise safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting batteries for handheld devices, like smartphones and gaming systems, the research team wrote.
Supposed battery breakthroughs are nothing new — many new technologies have been developed in the last two decades, but none has been simultaneously beefy enough, safe enough and cheap enough to supplant lithium-ion cells.