Love it or hate it (don’t tell me which, please), the new economic stimulus package “sets aside $2 billion in grants for manufacturing advanced batteries” according to MIT Review’s Technology blog. MIT further speculates that some of the $7.5 billion in loans for “advanced technology vehicles” from another related bill and even some of the $500 million in “funding for retraining workers for green jobs” might end up pointed at solving the problem of storing a lot of juice in a little space safely.
Obviously creating new, more powerful batteries will help to reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil, but as a Toolmonger I’m more excited about another prospect: badder-ass cordless tools.
The needs of rough-‘n-tumble cordless tools seem very similar to that of hybrid and electric cars: lots of power stored in a small space with the ability to deliver a high amp load without damage — and a short recharge time with long cycle life. And we’ve seen similar technology jumps before. The special lithium-ion battery utilized in DeWalt’s last major tool update started its life in hybrid busses.
So here’s to hoping we’ll see some exciting new cordless tools in the next few years. (Now if we can just all get jobs at the plant…)
(Thanks, spakattacks, for the great CC-licensed photo!)
Stimulus Big Winner: Battery Manufacturing [MIT Review/Technology]