Pictured at right is aluminum Celmet, courtesy of the Sumitomo Electric corporation. Why should you care what this stuff is? Because it’s about to revolutionize batteries.
Celmet itself is not new, just usually made out of nickel. As you can see, it jacks up the surface area of a metal used in a battery considerably, which improves performance. The aluminum version, though, really improves performance: in trial test, Sumitomo found it increased the storage capacity, and thus the range, of electric cars by 50 to 200%, which would mean instead of traveling 100 miles on one charge, your typical underpowered electric car could travel 300 miles on one charge. You would still, however, look like a total wuss.
Nonetheless, this is a big deal as it can also reduce the size of the batteries while keeping the same amount of range. And, of course, it can be incorporated into other batteries: laptops that last three times as long, anyone?
[ via the metallurgists at Gizmag ]