Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a battery technology that greatly increases lifespan and could mean never having to replace a battery again.
Lithium-ion batteries (used in everything from PS4 controllers to iPhones) see capacity dramatically drop after being recharged between 5,000 and 7,000 times.
Using nanowires, the researchers at UCI were able to create a battery that went through 200,000 recharge cycles without losing any capacity.
That equates to 400 times longer battery-life, and means that in the course of everyday usage the battery would never have to be replaced.
The researchers are not certain why the battery lasted as long as it did, as the experiment was originally designed to make a new kind of solid-state battery.
“We started to cycle the devices, and then realized that they weren’t going to die,” Reginald Penner, a lead author of a paper on the research published in the American Chemical Society’s Energy Letters, said. “We don’t understand the mechanism of that yet.”
While the use of gold in consumer electronics is prohibitively expensive, this breakthrough could mean less time waiting for smartphones and controllers to charge.