In a perfect world, the power sources running our gadgets, cars and factories would be tiny, feather-light batteries capable of infinite storage and ultra high-volt discharge. But that is never going to happen using lithium ion technology.
Today, our high-tech capabilities are limited by the basic chemistry and physics that define the finite energy density possible in our battery technologies.
And that means, on our current path, we are tied to lithium ion — that quick draining, inexplicably failing, discharging, overheating and occasionally spontaneously combusting — chemistry dogging our daily lives.
But there is a movement now toward different paths that promise to mix things up.
There are several exciting new (and old) battery technologies bubbling up in the market now offering novel approaches to energy storage, any of which could start a total disruption of the industry.
For more on the battery limits, read Technology: Taking Batteries Beyond Lithium Ion.