New Batteries Could Last 20 Years and Take Just Minutes to Charge



ultra-fast charging battery

If the slow charging and short overall life of the battery in your smartphone or tablet is the bane of your existence, good news is on the way. New lithium ion battery technology is advancing to the point where it soon may take just a few minutes to get a substantial charge. And the battery inside the phone or tablet you’ve paid good money for could last for up to two decades, not just a few years.

Researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University say they have developed an ultra-fast charging battery that could replace the one in your smart devices right now. The batteries they’ve developed will be able to charge at extremely fast rates. Imagine batteries that could be 70 percent charged in just two minutes.

The batteries also reportedly have a 20-year lifespan.  With such a battery, the iPhone 6 you bought today could still be working in the Fall of 2034. By then, you’ll wonder how you ever managed with a battery that lasts only a few years as ours do today.

By comparison, researchers say today’s average battery in a smartphone is good for about 500 recharge cycles. That could get you about three years of use, by their estimates. And that battery may take up to two hours to get a full charge, the researchers say.

For small business owners, a smartphone or tablet going dead at the wrong time could spell disaster depending on the circumstance. And a battery with a twenty year life span also has serious implications for obsolescence of your technology since it’s at least one of the reasons we’re all constantly trading in our phones for a newer model.

The new technology would replace the graphite used for the negative pole in a lithium ion battery with Titanium dioxide, a cheap and abundant material found in soil, researchers say.

Of course, this technology isn’t only good for smartphones, tablets, and other handheld technologies. Associate Professor Chen Xiaodong of the University’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, who invented the new battery technology says it will also have other important implications. The new battery will make it possible to recharge an electric car in minutes, dramatically increasing the range of these alternative energy vehicles.

In a release from the university, Chen suggested other benefits:

“Equally important, we can now drastically cut down the toxic waste generated by disposed batteries, since our batteries last ten times longer than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries.”

The global market for lithium-ion batteries is projected to reach $23.4 billion by 2016. Imagine how much you would save if your current tablet could last you over a decade.

Battery Image via Shutterstock

7 Comments ▼

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Assistant Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional and online media, Joshua got his start in the rough and tumble newspaper business of Pennsylvania's coal region. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a beat reporter covering daily news. He eventually founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown. Joshua supervises the day-to-day operations of Small Business Trends' busy editorial department including the editorial calendar and outgoing assignments.

7 Reactions
  1. Not only cutting down on toxic waste, but saving on energy when charged. I do wonder how open companies like Apple and Samsung will be to this, though, because ultimately, it means less money for them, doesn’t it?

    • If Apple or Samsung don’t play ball with this new technology then their be a company somewhere that will replace your laptop tablet mobile device even car with one of the ever lasting fast charging batteries .

  2. Wow I would like to have one of that. But I wonder what it will be made of and how it can impact the environment. Disposing batteries is still an issue in this technological age.

    • You only dispose your batteries every 20 years instead of 2. That’s only 1/10 of the current pollution level. If what they said is true …

  3. To begin with, they haven’t invented a new battery but apparently, and new component of a battery – and they didn’t even do that. Titanates have been researched as lithium ion battery anode material for more than a decade, and in a couple of cases, are commercially available as well. Investigated for their very fast charge rates and long cycle lives, the best only demonstrated in chemistry labs. Bear in mind, the anode is only part of the Li ion battery – cathode must be equally capable and today it’s not. And then there is the power demands placed on the charge management electronics – think MUCH larger wall warts, cables and heat in the charged product.

    But the most important factor with this type of material is that batteries made with it store much less energy (lower density) than current generation Li ion batteries – about half in fact. So in the case of a smart phone, who would be willing to sacrifice half their “talk” (or text & web surfing) time per charge for a phone that lasts 2 decades?

    The idea that battery life is an important factor in consumer electronics replacement is also a fallacy. The real driver is having the “sexy new toy” – and in the phone case, sometimes new network technologies. A two decade old product in this segment would be irrelevant for lots of reasons.

    Would batteries using this material make sense in EV’s as this group suggests? No, for the same reason as with consumer electronics – energy density. Think the driving range of an electric vehicle is too small now? How does cutting it in half sound?

    How about for hybrids and next gen electric grid and solar etc? If paired with the right cathode and electrolyte, yes. And that’s why some of us have been researching titanates.

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