Sakti3's Solid State Batteries Promise Double Capacity, Better Safety, Lower Costs

Solid state batteries have existed for a while in small market niches, but they haven't been used for more mainstream products because they've been too expensive to produce. A Michigan-based startup called Sakti3, which has been researching batteries for eight years, promises to double the battery capacity of lithium-ion batteries by using solid electrodes as well as solid electrolytes.

Dyson, a vacuum company from UK, has already invested $15 million in the startup. It will help Sakti3 commercialize the new batteries and also use them in its future products, such as robot-vacuum cleaners.

“Sakti3 has achieved leaps in performance, which current battery technology simply can't," said company founder James Dyson. “It's these fundamental technologies – batteries, motors – that allow machines to work properly."

On top of doubling the capacity, the new solid state batteries may also be safer and can have a longer lifecycle. The biggest promise, though, is that this new type of battery can also be cheaper to manufacture, which represents a big breakthrough for solid state batteries. If Sakti3 and Dyson deliver on all of the promises of solid state batteries, the technology might make the regular lithium-ion batteries obsolete, unless there is some unknown weakness in this technology that will make solid state batteries impractical.

Right now, solid state batteries seem to meet all the right criteria: cheaper to make, safer, longer lasting and higher capacity. They can also be made significantly smaller and thinner if the capacity is maintained rather than increased. This could be a major advantage for even slimmer phones or tablets in the future.

The new solid state batteries could also power the next electric car revolution. Right now, a big part of an electric car's cost is represented by the high-capacity battery. Electric cars could either become cheaper by keeping a reasonably long range for driving around town, or more expensive cars could completely remove range anxiety with a 500- or 600-mile range on a single charge. Using solid state batteries that are much less likely to explode is another major benefit for electric cars. GM, the maker of the Volt hybrid car, is also an investor in Sakti3.

Unfortunately, Sakti3 hasn't given any timeline for when we can expect these batteries to be commercialized, other than saying it will be years rather than decades.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • dstarr3
    Well, good. If there's anything we need, it's new technology. Our battery needs are quickly outpacing our battery technology.
  • azathoth
    Please, just actually make it to market. (In a timely manner preferably as well.) Always hearing about new technologies, that remain unseen for decades in the consumer market.
  • cosmo77
    This would definately hurt the tesla battery plant if it came to fruition.
  • CaedenV
    Can we have a pronunciation guide for all new companies? Is it Sak-Ti-Three, Sak-Tie, Sa-K-Tie...
  • papaspud
    I don't want a thinner phone or tablet, just one that has lots of power.
  • none12345
    Solid state huh? I think they just mean dry electrolytes. Because pretty much every battery on the planet is solid state... The anode and cathode of pretty much every battery ever sold, is solid state, its just the electrolyte that can be dry or wet.

    Unless they mean solid state as in no ion exchange, which means a capacitor not a chemical reaction. Of course then that's a capacitor not a battery, so they probably don't mean that. Id frikking love a capacitor with twice the energy density of a battery tho, that would rule.

    If they mean a dry electrolyte, just say it, don't call it a solid state battery, which is mostly meaningless.

    There are liquid batteries, but those are the niche products. The current trend word for those are 'flow batteries' heh.
  • BulkZerker
    With no concrete time table for it going to market I'll put my money down on sulfur oxide batteries coming to market sooner. Since they have a 3 fold power per size advantage over current Li-po batteries.
  • photonboy
    Solid-state battery:

    This means both solid electrodes AND solid electrolytes.
  • Thomas Serruques
    What about recycling those batteries?