Will the much needed breakthrough battery please stand up?
At a local event surrounding the press tour of the Ford Focus plug-in, one speaker tried to simplify the complex chemistry and physics of battery power by saying you take anything from the left of the Periodic Table and mix it with something from the right side and you create something that wants to explode. Batteries slow this process to where we can tap this explosive energy over time.
Given the right ambient conditions and flaws, the lead-acid batteries in our cars as well as the lithium-ion batteries in Dreamliners can overheat, cause fires or even explode.
A just posted AP story explains this is the main reason our cities aren’t filled with electric cars right now – it is the batteries that are holding us back. The lithium-ion battery is the latest level of battery technology and it has been around for nearly 25 years.
Many people look to the leading authority on battery technology John Goodenough, the man that essentially made first commercial lithium-ion batteries possible back in 1991. He will be honored with the National Medal of Science at the White House next month at the age of 90.
Currently the engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Goodenough told the AP, "I'm working on it. I'm optimistic in a sense that I'm willing to keep working on it. I think we can do some interesting things."