Panasonic announced a new battery that lasts 30% longer than today's lithium ion batteries. Instead of a graphite anode, these new rechargeable lithium ion batteries will use an anode made of silicon alloy, and Panasonic claims after 500 charge/discharge cycles, the batteries will still retain 80% of their capacity.
This could be a big deal. While there are already silicon alloy batteries in development by Hitachi Maxell, Panasonic's 30% improvement goes 10% beyond their alleged capacity improvement. Aimed at laptops, Panasonic says this new battery technology will be manufactured in volume starting in 2012.
But wait a second. This 30% improvement is nothing compared to those nanotech-enhanced lithium sulfur batteries we heard about last year — said to last three times longer than conventional lithium ion batteries. Talk is cheap, Panasonic. We'll believe it when we see it.