The world runs on lithium batteries. They power everything from smartphones to satellites. Batteries are becoming increasingly important in the transportation industry. Although electric cars are the most popular example, lithium batteries are also used in trains and airplanes.
Despite their importance, breakthroughs in battery technology are rare. The batteries we use today are still iterations those created nearly 40 years ago. This lull in innovation, however, does not stop engineers from trying to develop something new.
The Battery Arms Race
Researchers and engineers all around the world realize the importance of batteries and the role that they will play in the energy market. As a result, many companies are working to create the next major breakthrough in the industry. These include groups in the United States, China, South Korea, and Japan, as well as several countries in Europe. This competition has led to a battery “arms race.” Every organization is trying to get ahead by spending millions, stockpiling resources, and hiring the best scientists possible. The goal is to create a new type of battery that is lightweight, safe, and extremely effective. For example, one that would only have to charge your phone once a week instead of almost every day.
Why Batteries Are Important
Batteries are not just our present. They are our future. Electric cars are becoming more and more common. They are powered by lithium batteries instead of fuel. Cars that could travel hundreds of miles after being charged just once would be more efficient that today’s vehicles. Lithium batteries store and use energy efficiently, and could perhaps in the distant future reduce the amount of fossil fuels the world uses.
What Winning the Arms Race Looks Like
The next country to create a new super battery will benefit significantly. The battery will give their economy an extremely valuable boost. The innovation would change the landscape of the entire world’s economies, and possibly shift some power away from those countries that dominate the oil and gas industries.
The stakes are high. The winner of the global battery arms race will receive a significant economic impact. The next super battery has yet to be invented, but engineers have improved batteries over recent years. A new super battery will transform the world in every sense: environmentally, economically, and geopolitically.