Despite the huge leaps in technology over the past several years – mostly brought on by the popularity of smartphones and handheld technology – battery tech has become more advanced than ever before.
But for some, not advanced enough. As handheld devices become more powerful, the batteries needed to power them become less capable. The problem of recharging multiple times a day plagues companies like Apple and Samsung, but extends far beyond smartphones. The possibility of electric flight, for instance, is impossible without greater advancements in battery tech.
Elon Musk is attempting to change that with electric car manufacturer Tesla. The company has announced it will partner with Panasonic to create a large-scale battery plant in the United States. Batteries are in the company’s best interests – longer transports in electric vehicles only work if batteries last long enough.
The factory, which is set to employ over six thousand people by 2020, is said by Tesla to “meet its goal of advancing mass market vehicles”.
The ability to manufacture huge amounts of batteries would bring down the cost of electric vehicles by a substantial amount.
But Tesla co-founder HB Straubel also told The New York Times that such a factory could set a path “for a dramatic reduction in the cost of energy storage across a broad range of applications”.
Battery technology is currently stopping the next generation of technology from advancing. (See the latest concerns over wearable technology such as watches – consumers feel concerned about having to charge a device every day). By pushing more effort into how we power devices, Tesla’s efforts could help give rise to a new generation of small, super-powerful computing technology.