Skip to Content

A Breakthrough Battery Gets a Big Backer

A startup with radical new battery technology gets a vote of confidence from an appliance maker.
March 16, 2015

A lithium-ion battery that stores twice as much energy is a step closer to commercialization thanks to a deal with the U.K. home appliance company Dyson.

Ultrathin battery prototypes undergo testing at the labs of startup Sakti3.

The startup Sakti3 announced today that it has signed a joint development agreement with Dyson, which makes vacuum cleaners and other appliances, to incorporate its batteries into new products. The companies didn’t say when those products will be available, but one could be a cordless vacuum cleaner. Dyson also announced a $15 million investment in the startup.

Sakti3 uses new materials and manufacturing techniques to achieve higher energy density. The company’s battery does away with the flammable liquid electrolyte used in conventional lithium-ion batteries, which makes it feasible to use a different set of high-energy storage materials (see “Solid-State Batteries” and “A Battery for Electronics That Lasts Twice as Long”).

The technology could have many applications, including electric vehicles, the range of which is limited by the size and cost of conventional batteries.

In a statement, Dyson founder and chief engineer James Dyson said, “Sakti3 has achieved leaps in performance which current battery technology simply can’t.”

Many battery startups have struggled to translate impressive lab results into products (see “Why We Don’t Have Battery Breakthroughs”), in part because their prototypes are custom-made, often using expensive manufacturing techniques that can’t easily be scaled up. Sakti3 makes its prototypes on standard manufacturing equipment, and this could help ensure that the technology, once perfected, can be commercialized.

Success isn’t a sure thing. Making a few prototypes might not translate to high yields in a factory, where conditions and raw materials can vary. But the partnership with Dyson, which has manufacturing experience and relatively deep pockets, could make the transition easier for Sakti3. 

Keep Reading

Most Popular

open sourcing language models concept
open sourcing language models concept

Meta has built a massive new language AI—and it’s giving it away for free

Facebook’s parent company is inviting researchers to pore over and pick apart the flaws in its version of GPT-3

transplant surgery
transplant surgery

The gene-edited pig heart given to a dying patient was infected with a pig virus

The first transplant of a genetically-modified pig heart into a human may have ended prematurely because of a well-known—and avoidable—risk.

Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research
Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research

Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging

The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.

Yann LeCun
Yann LeCun

Yann LeCun has a bold new vision for the future of AI

One of the godfathers of deep learning pulls together old ideas to sketch out a fresh path for AI, but raises as many questions as he answers.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.