Battery Matters

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Perhaps the biggest problem facing makers of new technology is battery power - or lack of it. The battery is so critical that engineers design handheld devices around the battery, rather than the other way round. It is not just mobile phone and wearable technology manufacturers that are striving for longer lasting batteries, the electric vehicle is stalling (so to speak) because of the short distances between recharging and a limited service life of the battery.

So what are businesses doing to reinvent the battery? Is an average annual gain in capacity of 6% really the best we can do?

We ask whether Lithium-Air batteries can revitalise the electric car market, explore whether flexible graphene batteries and solar cells hold the key to enhancements in mobile phone battery life and look at the 3D printing of micro batteries the size of a grain of sand.

Photo: Batteries. BBC copyright)

Available now

29 minutes

Last on

Sun 4 May 2014 10:32 GMT

Contributors to this programme

David Cleevely - Founding director of the Centre for Science and Policy at Cambridge University


John McCann - Mobile phone and tablet reviewer for


Doron Myersdorf - CEO of Storedot


Donald Sadoway - Professor of Materials Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston


George Ell - Country director for the UK and Ireland, Tesla Motors


Emile Greenhalgh - Professor, Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London


Milo Shaffer - Professor, Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London

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