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Valence's less-explosive lithium-ion batteries


With laptops blowing up left and right, it's no surprise that the same lithium-ion battery technology has been slow to take off in larger applications, like cars, where the danger of spontaneous combustion is even more serious. But as CNET reports, at least one company says they've managed to create a lithium-ion car battery that's safe enough to power your ride. Valence Technology's U-Charge Power System keeps the fireworks in check by using a metal phosphate cathode instead of the cobalt oxide cathode commonly used in lithium-ion batteries. The downside to that choice is that the battery can only store about 75% of the power of traditional batteries, but then again, it won't catch on fire. While the batteries have so far only been put to use in wheelchairs, scooters and hybrid vehicles, the company says that the technology could eventually be adapted for use in laptops -- though we're sure not everyone's gonna be willing to take a performance hit just for a bit more peace of mind.

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