Looks like we’re getting better, cheaper batteries soon: Sumitomo Electric Industries succeeded in developing a molten-salt battery that’s supposedly 90% cheaper to produce than lithium-ion batteries. The company claims that even though molten-salt batteries are nothing new, the sodium material in their prototype starts melting at 57C to keep the electrolyte in a liquid state (and not at more than 300C like in existing batteries).
The rechargeable battery is said to have twice the energy density of a typical lithium ion battery. In other words, makers of electric cars, for example, could save space and offer vehicles with a longer travel range. Sumitomo expects the new battery to be priced at about $240 per kWh, about 10% of the price of made-in-Japan lithium-ion batteries.
Sumitomo plans to start offering the battery for use in cars and homes around 2015 and already applied for a patent. Following the news, Sumitomo Electric Industries stocks soared a respectable 8% at the Stock Exchange today.
Via Response [JP]