Rechargeable zinc-based batteries could not only store as much energy as lithium-ion batteries but also be safer, cheaper, smaller and lighter, new research finds. The results suggest zinc batteries could find use in mild hybrids (microhybrids), electric vehicles, electric bicycles, and eventually perhaps smartphones and power grid storage.
The researchers are now aggressively testing these batteries and exploring scaling up this technology. “We feel we can have a battery ready for the market by the end of 2019,” says Michael Burz, CEO of energy technology firm EnZinc in San Anselmo, Calif., which helped engineer the new batteries.
When it comes to electric vehicles, the new batteries will “be 30 to 50 percent cheaper than comparable lithium-ion systems,” Burz says.