No matter what device you depend on—a flashlight, a smartphone, or a computer—it likely won’t work without a battery. Yet the science behind batteries has been relatively underwhelming. Until now.
Much of the key development work on batteries dates back to the 1800s. And since then the lowly battery has powered our society in a relatively low-key way. Now, however, the battery needs to join the 21st century. And investors such as billionaire Warren Buffet are betting its time has come.
As Michael J. De La Merced noted in The New York Times, “By essentially agreeing to swap his firm’s holdings in P&G, worth about $4.7 billion, in exchange for Duracell, Mr. Buffett will gain one of the best-known battery companies in the world.” Plus market share. While many claim Buffett’s purchase is a tax maneuver, others believe he sees big opportunities in today’s $50 billion global battery market. Batteries represent the new frontier. And Buffet is not alone in noticing.
Tesla, under CEO Elon Musk, recently launched the Powerwall home battery to revolutionize the way we use energy, envisioning a network of home batteries acting as power plants. The product, initially high-priced, will become more affordable and more desirable, Musk believes.
Meanwhile, Science Daily’s Battery News regularly highlights new developments in batteries, ranging from “squishies” made from wood pulp to an ultrafast aluminum battery. These days it seems a lot of important players are charged up over batteries. And they’re betting big.