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Google Sees Long-Life Solid-State Battery as Key to Conquering Consumer Markets

Of course, Google is not alone in this pursuit.

google solar panel

Google is planning to take over the world by first revolutionizing batteries. According to recent press reports, the technology giant is hectically busy developing its proprietary solid-state battery that would last much longer than anything we’ve seen so far.

Back in 2013, Google CEO Larry Page told analysts that battery life for mobile devices is the key to inventing new and better experiences for customers.

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Of course, Google is not alone in this pursuit: Tesla Motors, Apple and IBM are also invested in the effort to give the consumer a mobile device battery that could go on working for days with the need to recharge.

Lior Susan, founder and general partner at LabIX, a hardware investment platform with Flextronics, who was hired in January to leads Formation 8’s hardware strategy (and a reservist in an IDF special forces unit), sees the rush to come up with the better battery as part of Google’s desire to control its own destiny on the hardware supply chain.

Susan believes that since Google positioned itself as the world’s future provider of drones, driverless cars, Google Glass (OK, that one needed work), Google phone and a plethora of other hardware ventures—and since every one of these ventures depends on reliable battery power to perform—Google must also come up with better batteries, rather than wait patiently for someone else to invent and perfect them.

The Google X Research Labs, led by former Apple Inc. battery expert Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj, are reportedly working on a few different battery technologies, with the general idea being to move from today’s lithium-ion batteries to solid-state.

Of course, the solid-state battery is the panacea of modern technology. The solid-state batteries have been available for a while and are used in some wireless sensors, but they have been too expensive to use in popular, low cost devices.

According to Kevin Bullis, writing for Technology Review, in solid-state batteries the liquid electrolytes normally used in conventional lithium-ion batteries are replaced with solid ones, which makes it possible to replace conventional electrodes with lithium metal ones that hold far more energy.

Bullis also notes that doing away with the liquid electrolyte, which is flammable, can also improve the safety of batteries, which will then lead to cost and size savings, particularly in electric vehicles, by reducing the need for complex cooling systems.

Should Google be successful with this endeavor, it could also mark a revolution in renewable energy — our ability to store efficiently the product of wind turbines and solar panels.

Now, that’s some panacea…



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