Batteries are everywhere: phones, tablets, wearables, laptops, self-driving cars, etc. Devices have become more complex and power-hungry, and there’s an even greater need for better batteries now, but battery technology hasn’t been able to keep up.
That may change soon: WSJ reports that Google’s secretive X lab is developing batteries that can last longer. The initiative reportedly began back in 2012 and is being led by Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj. His four-man team is working on advancing lithium-ion technology as well as trying to make solid-state batteries that are financially feasible to mass produce.
Other than Dr. Bhardwaj’s group, Google is also working with AllCell Technologies LLC to build efficient batteries for Project Loon and other hardware programs. The Internet balloons are currently using lithium-ion power packs that are covered in wax and graphite to protect against extreme temperatures. The company is testing specially made materials that can hopefully withstand the cold better.
Google isn’t the only company working on better batteries. As a matter of fact, they join a long list of corporations that are trying to improve battery tech. Apple is reported to be forming a battery division soon. Meanwhile, Tesla is planning to open a Gigafactory to produce batteries for its electronic vehicles in the US.
As it stands right now, we need all the help we can get. Smartphones are the most affected by battery tech. Most smartphones these days can’t power through a day, so it’d be a welcome change to see them go up to two, maybe three, in the future.