Stanford researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to reinvent the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.Very cool. I wonder how long it will take them to make these commercially available and how much they will cost. If the price is similar to current batteries then this is a huge breakthrough for battery powered cars.
The new version, developed through research led by Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, produces 10 times the amount of electricity of existing lithium-ion, known as Li-ion, batteries. A laptop that now runs on battery for two hours could operate for 20 hours, a boon to ocean-hopping business travelers.
"It's not a small improvement," Cui said. "It's a revolutionary development."
Cui said that a patent application has been filed. He is considering formation of a company or an agreement with a battery manufacturer. Manufacturing the nanowire batteries would require "one or two different steps, but the process can certainly be scaled up," he added. "It's a well understood process."
via Stanford News via Engadget
Update: Some interesting comments on this story over at Slashdot. Also a FuturePundit commenter alerts me to a more technical analysis over at Entropy Production.