Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries Promise Charging in Seconds, World Braces For Disappointment

Battery "breakthroughs" are a dime a dozen, so excuse me for sounding a bit jaded here. But a battery that can charge in seconds? Without fatigue? If this wasn't published in Nature, I'd probably laugh.

Scientists at MIT claim to have discovered a new technique for manufacturing the lithium-ion batteries, using a unique mix of lithium iron phosphate instead of the traditional lithium cobalt found in most of your gadgets' batteries. Sparing you the gory details, these experiments resulted in a small test battery that could charge in about 20 seconds (down from six minutes), didn't overheat and displays no signs of reduced capacity after repeated use, all in trade for a "slight" decrease in capacity.

Despite looking like another one of those vaguely vaporous half-discoveries, its creators are really trying to assure us otherwise. Professor Gerbrand Ceder even goes so far as to say that due to the tech's similarity to existing l-i batteries, current factories could be easily converted for manufacture with the next two or three years. With MIT, publication in a reputable journal, and most importantly, a plausible explanation behind this thing, maybe, just maybe these batteries won't leave us hanging, disenchanted and juiceless once again. [BBC]

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