Battery breakthroughs seem to pop up almost every day. There's always a new idea, different material or unique design that makes the battery better. Some manufacturers make outlandish claims that can't be true while other companies string us out for years awaiting amazing products. This time around, Hitachi makes a bold claim for its breakthrough-tech, but it's believable and has already been put through preliminary tests.

The company developed a new manganese-based cathode material for use in lithium-ion batteries and testing shows it could double the life of the batteries. After performing repeated tests on prototype units, Hitachi also thinks that battery size could be cut in half through use of the new cathode material.

The new batteries will see use in hybrid and electric vehicles as well as in cell phones and laptops. Best of all, manganese is abundant, unlike the current cathode material cobalt, which some consider a scarce resource. The readily available manganese could reduce costs and assure a continued supply of material for li-ion batteries. Now, this breakthrough seems both reasonable and achievable. There are no outlandish claims here and Hitachi has tests to back its claims up. We get excited thinking about the possibilities of a battery with twice the life and half the size of today's packs. Due to its small size, this power source could literally go where no battery has gone before.

[Source: Green Car Advisor]