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New Sony rechargeable battery charges faster and lasts longer


August 12, 2009

Sony's new rechargeable batteries that use Olivine-type Lithium Iron Phosphate as the cathode material

Sony's new rechargeable batteries that use Olivine-type Lithium Iron Phosphate as the cathode material

We cover our fair share of battery technology breakthroughs here at Gizmag, from lithium-sulfur batteries to NanoEnergy batteries. But it’s less often that we get to report on new and improved batteries actually hitting the market. So it was nice to learn that Sony has launched a new type of rechargeable Li-ion battery that promises an extended life span more than four times that of existing Li-ion batteries and can be charged to 99 percent of its full capacity in 30 minutes - approximately half the charge time of Sony’s current Li-ion battery line up.

The new batteries use Olivine-type lithium phosphate as a cathode, which Sony says is well suited for the purpose due to its robust crystal structure and stable performance, even at high temperatures. Sony combined this new cathode material with its particle design technology to minimize electrical resistance and deliver a high power density of 1800W/kg and extended life span with the batteries boasting a 80 percent capacity retention after 2,000 charge-discharge cycles.

Since the new batteries are able to charge rapidly and provide a stable discharge of voltage, Sony has decided to initially supply the batteries for use in motor-driven devices such as power tools, but says it will expand their application to a wide range of other mobile electric devices in the future.

Sony began shipping the new batteries in July, so expect some power tools packing the new battery technology to start appearing soon.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

So, how about some specs on the batteries? Voltage? How many amp hours? Format? Are AA's available? Is a 12Volt pack available? How well do they do in cold weather? Is there a link to more information?


Yeah. What Stretch said... in particular is there a 12v pack available and could it be used for automotive applications including electric cars?

Ludwig Heinrich

Interested to hear on the capabilities of the batteries in applications on a larger scale. Remote area supplies, renewable lighting and power applications, telemetry and communication installations. As Stretch comments, what is the effect of cold weather? And the big question......$$$$$$$

Eric Hill

Uhhhh, for specs try the Sony link in the article.



That's the link to Sony's description and official press release about the batteries, and here's the punchline:

Power density: 1800W/kg (20A continuous discharge) Long-life: more than 80% capacity retention after 2,000 charge-discharge cycles Rapid charging: 99% charge completed in 30 minutes

or, more technically,

Cell type Cylindrical type 18650 Size Diameter 18mm, height 65mm Capacity (0.2ItA) 1.1Ah Nominal Voltage 3.2V Energy Density 95Wh/kg Power Density 1800W/kg Max. continuous discharge current 20A Weight 40g


1.1Ah is only about 1/2 the energy normal to such sized batteries, if my memory serves me.

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