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Google has a secret team working on better battery tech, report claims


Better battery life is something we’d all like from our mobile devices, but battery technology hasn’t evolved as quickly as our smartphones and tablets have. According to a new report, Google has a small, secretive team that’s hoping to change that.

The team consists of just four people, and is led by Dr. Ramesh Bhardwaj, a former Apple battery expert who joined Google in late 2012, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Bhardwaj initially began testing batteries developed by other companies in Google products, but around a year after he joined the company, he started working on new battery technologies that Google might one day product itself, source say.

His team is trying to advance today’s lithium-ion technology and “the cutting-edge solid-state batteries for consumer devices,” adds The Journal.

It’s thought that Google doesn’t just want to build better batteries for smartphones, tablets, and wearables, but also its self-driving electric cars, robots, and the other things that make up its ever-expanding world of hardware.

Lior Susan, head of hardware strategy at venture-capital firm Formation 8, told The Journal that Google wants greater control over its “own destiny in various places along the supply chain.”

In other words, it doesn’t want to be limited by third-party battery technology.

The lithium-ion batteries that power today’s mobile devices haven’t changed a whole lot in recent years. Rather than building better batteries, hardware makers have looked to make other components smaller simply so that they can use bigger batteries.

Researchers and scientists have developed better technologies, but they invariably end up being too difficult to mass produce, and so they remain good ideas rather than new products.

But if there’s a company with the power and resources to change that, it’s Google.

The Wall Street Journal iFixit

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...