A battery pioneer has invented a new kind of battery that is 90 per cent cheaper to produce than standard lithium-ion batteries , and potentially much safer. Hideaki Horie – who has worked on battery technology since 1990 and led Nissan’s development of the Leaf electric car – discovered a way to replace the batteries basic components in order to speed up and simplify the manufacturing process. “The problem with making lithium batteries now is that it’s device manufacturing, like semiconductors,” Mr Horie told The Japan Times. “Our goal is to make it more like steel production.” Manufacturing the new batteries is significantly simplified by replacing the metal-lined electrodes and liquid electrolytes typically found within lithium-ion units with a resin construction. Mr Horie said the new construction method used by his Tokyo-based company APB Corp is as easy as “buttering toast”. Lithium-ion batteries are used in everything from smartphones to electric cars, having first been commercialised nearly three decades ago by Sony. Their functionality and usage has since come a long way and in 2019 the trio of scientists credited with their development were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry . Nobel committee member Sara Snogerup Linse said lithium-ion […]

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