Read about John Goodenough’s exciting new work from FastCoExist.
The inventor of the lithium-ion battery—which is likely powering the device you’re reading this on right now—is 94 years old. But that hasn’t slowed down John Goodenough of the University of Texas at Austin, who clearly didn’t think that his previous world-changing invention was good enough. He’s just invented a sequel: a better battery that lasts longer, charges faster, doesn’t use any lithium, and won’t explode.
One of the key components of a battery is its energy density—the amount of power it can hold for a given size and weight. That’s important for keeping a slim smartphone alive all day, but it’s even more important for electric cars, where a lot of a battery’s energy is wasted just to move its own weight. Goodenough’s new battery, developed in partnership with Cockrell School of Engineering senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, has three times the energy density of li-ion, which means that for the same weight of batteries, a car would have three times the range.