In news that could affect everyone from laptop users to electric car drivers, Hitachi announced this week that it has figured out a way to double the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries — the batteries found inside virtually all of our energy-intensive electronics. According to Hitachi, that means their lithium-ion batteries can last up to 10 years without needing to be replaced.
Hitachi’s new batteries won’t initially find their way into our iPods, however. First, the electronics manufacturer plans to focus on grid-scale storage — i.e. solar or wind power storage. If Hitachi’s upgraded li-ion batteries are affordable and reliable enough, they could allow utilities to increase the amount of renewable but intermittent energy on the grid.
Eventually, Hitachi’s batteries could end up in electric cars. Read: long-lasting, affordable car batteries that could ultimately slash the sticker price of EVs. And that’s good news for all of us.