We use rechargeable batteries for practically everything these days – from our toothbrushes to our cars – but when a battery runs down, it can put a damper on our daily routine. Now imagine that instead of waiting an hour for your phone to charge up, you only had to wait two minutes – and that the same quick-charging battery can last 20 years. That battery will soon be a reality thanks to a team of researchers who developed a lithium-ion battery that can charge 70 percent in just two minutes and lasts 20 times longer than a battery today.
A battery that efficient could charge a car in as little as 15 minutes and wouldn’t have to be replaced as often. Instead of spending 5 minutes filling up on gas, a car could spend 5 minutes getting enough juice to dramatically extend its range. If it sounds too good to be true, the researchers say that they expect to have the battery on the market in just two years.
The technology isn’t entire new, which is part of the reason the battery seems like it could really happen in the next few years. Instead of reinventing the wheel, the researchers just built on existing technology, using titanium oxide gel – the same stuff in your sunscreen. The gel actually helps speed up the charging process, making the battery last 20-times longer and charge 20-times as fast than traditional lithium-ion batteries.