Although's Moore's Law continues to race along, battery
tech hasn't nearly kept up pace -- so we're excited by developments like the one just announced by Argonne National Labs, which has managed to increase Li-on capacity by 30 percent while making the batteries safer and longer-lasting. The secret ingredients in Argonne's new juice box are a new composite battery material that's partially electrically inactive and manganese oxide-based electrodes in place of the traditional cobalt oxide. Argonne says it's already licensed the tech to Japanese manufacturer Toda Kogyo, which has the capability to produce 30 million laptop batteries a year, but the lab is still working on improving charging rates -- while it's adequate for laptops and cellphones, the battery will need to discharge at least three times faster to work in a car. No word on when we might see these start shipping, but you can bet "manganese battery" is being added to our dream machine spec list right... now.