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PHOTO CAPTION: Layers of ReVolt zinc-air battery.

ReVolt: Time to 'Zinc' About Better Batteries

Revolt’s goal is to produce a battery that will allow an electric family sedan to travel 500 miles without a charge.

Published: 17-Jul-2010

As our society becomes increasingly mobile, while at the same time getting more and more connected, batteries are becoming more widespread and more important. Two years ago, Americans purchased close to three billion batteries a year. With the explosive growth of iPod and cell phones markets, the demand is far higher now. It’s a good thing that many of those devices use rechargeable batteries, otherwise we’d probably be buying ten billion batteries a year, many of which would end up in landfills.

Most of the rechargeables in use today are lithium ion, which took over from nickel metal hydride, which took over from nickel cadmium. This has allowed us to carry smaller and smaller devices that can still run a full day or longer between charges. So what would an even better battery allow us to do?

That’s a question that the folks at ReVolt Technology are very interested in. They have been working on zinc-air batteries which can potentially hold lots more energy for their size than any other battery. You might wonder if cell phones got any smaller, if you’d even be able to hold them, or dial them, or, heaven forbid, text on them. But then you might be missing the point.

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