Scientists with the company Cuberg have crafted a new battery that comes with a way to scale up in the real world. The startup, with backing from Boeing, venture capitalists, and the U.S. Department of Energy, has demonstrated the world’s first vertical drone powered by a lithium metal battery (not to be confused with lithium-ion.) The quadcopter flew 70 percent longer than the one powered by a lithium-ion battery, writes Joe Pappalardo for Popular Mechanics Magazine.
The key invention is a new, non-flammable electrolyte that erases the safety risks associated with today’s ubiquitous lithium-ion batteries.
“Because it’s also chemically very robust and stable, it allows us to use much more energy dense materials inside the battery to cut down a lot of the excess weight in the cell,” Cuberg CEO Richard Wang told Popular Mechanics. “The material changes from a typical graphite that you find in lithium-ion to a pure lithium metal foil.”