Sony on Tuesday announced a new type of rechargeable lithium ion battery that promises a life span more than four times that of current lithium ion batteries. Specifically, Sony touts a capacity retention north of 80 percent after 2,000 charge-discharge cycles.
Without getting too technical about the whole thing, the new battery uses as its cathode material olivine-type lithium iron phosphate, which Sony says is ideal for the job "due to its robust crystal structure and stable performance, even at high temperatures."
The material also apparently contributes to the battery's faster charging time--it can hit 99 percent of its full capacity in 30 minutes (approximately half the charge time of Sony's current lithium ion battery line, which mainly use cobalt oxide-based cathodes).
For the moment, the batteries will just be showing up in motor-driven devices like power tools--so if you own a cordless band saw, you're in luck. Those of us who just need to worry about powering our iPods and laptops, however, will have to wait a little while.