Laptop users may soon get longer battery life from their machines, with ZPower set to plug in its new silver-zinc batteries, which it claims last significantly longer than traditional lithium-ion batteries.
The batteries will be available in consumer and business laptops from major PC makers starting in August, according to Ross Dueber, the CEO of ZPower, although he declined to name any of the vendors on Thursday.
Silver-zinc batteries pack more energy than lithium-ion batteries, giving laptops 40 percent more run time, according to Dueber. If a laptop runs for two hours with a lithium-ion battery, it should run for closer to three hours with a silver-zinc battery, he said.
The battery’s water-based chemistry also makes it nonflammable, compared to lithium-ion, which uses dimethyl carbonate, a flammable liquid. Cells can go off “like firecrackers” in lithium-ion batteries, Dueber said.
The silver-zinc batteries also won’t degrade in capacity during the first year, while lithium-ion batteries can lose up to 30 percent of their capacity over that period, Dueber said. After a year, however, silver-zinc batteries start degrading at a rate similar to lithium-ion batteries.
It also remains to be seen if silver-zinc batteries can compete on price, since lithium-ion is relatively cheap, Sapru said. The silver-zinc batteries contain silver, which can be expensive.