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Lampe-Onnerud: Development in batteries

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The question is really around technology and history and kind of outlook. So lithium-ion, I believe, will be the dominating technology for the next fifty years at least. Why? Because it's so incredibly complicated to put together batteries. It doesn't matter that we invent new components or chemicals; frankly they will be folded into this format in my experience actually and also what I believe we are doing as a company, and many of the competitors.
However, what you will see is enormous devotion to improving the components. The anode material, the conductive materials, the separator materials, the polymeric materials, the cathodes, the tabs, the way they are put together, the mechanical solutions. Because the system really was only deployed in 1991. Again, folding back to 1850 for your lead-acid car starter battery, still at MIT in development. It takes a long time.
Maybe it will change the perspective forever. A battery is really like a chemical factory. Very complicated. It has to be very, very precise. To change one component, the development cycle of just that one component, is between two and five years before it hits the market; even if it's identified. So fifty years probably for lithium-ion, we will see a ton of innovation. It takes roughly twenty years from embryonic research, discover it basically, of new systems, into first steps of commercialization. And I think it's unclear if we even see origins of first step innovations right now.

Added on 08 May 2017