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Bet Big on the Next Generation of Batteries

By Matt McCallJan 11, 2019

Watch out. One of the next decade’s biggest technology breakthroughs will be in batteries. I’m not talking about the AA and AAA batteries you need to power a TV remote or children’s toy. I’m talking about the industrial batteries that power things like electric and autonomous vehicles, smartphones, and more.

The lithium-ion batteries that are currently being used are passable for today’s technology. However, they’re not adequate for the next generation of devices, machines, and automobiles.

The 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is taking place in Las Vegas this week. More than 4,500 companies and 180,000 attendees have gathered to learn about some of the market’s newest and hottest innovations.

You can be sure I’m keeping a very close eye on the headlines. This is where I get the inside scoop on all of the different up-and-coming technologies that will change our lives today, tomorrow, and years into the future.

If there’s one thing I have learned from this year’s show, it’s that the gadgets of the future will require longer battery life. Not only will the next generation of batteries need to go further on a single charge, their overall lifespan will need to increase dramatically as well.

Good thing solid state batteries are slated to be the next big battery breakthrough.

The greatest development with these new batteries is that they use solid electrolytes instead of liquid ones. This alone will improve nearly every aspect of today’s battery technology.

Because of their composition, solid state batteries are smaller, lighter, and can store a lot more energy than what is currently available. They have less impact on the environment. And the icing on the cake? They are much less likely to catch fire or explode.

The Train is Leaving the Station

The big names in the electronics and auto industries have invested in solid state battery technology for years. Everyone from Toyota Motor (TM) to Volkswagen (VWAGY) to Hitachi (HTHIY) and even Dyson – yes, the company known for its vacuum cleaners.

There’s good reason for this. The upside potential in this early-stage industry is enormous! Just look at some of the projections:

  • According to MarketsandMarkets, the solid state battery industry is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2020. That would result in a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 72% between 2015 and 2020.
  • Inkwood Research expects the global solid state battery market to grow with a CAGR of 67% between 2018 and 2026.
  • And research firm Arthur D. Little sees the entire battery market growing to be worth $90 billion by 2025, up from $60 billion in 2015.

That last figure is especially important because it shows how overall demand for batteries is on the verge of exploding. (Not the batteries… just the demand!)

Don’t expect this technology to be in the headlines for a few years still. But there is no question that now is the time to position your portfolio for what could be the biggest energy breakthrough in decades.

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