ARS Technica reports MIT scientists are working on a new type of high-power battery that takes advantage of carbon nanotubes:
A new type of high-power battery may help make larger hybrid vehicles a reality, according to a research paper published this week. A group of scientists at MIT have found a way to use carbon nanotubes to create a device that combines the strengths of batteries and capacitors, resulting in a battery than can both store a large amount of energy and put out a high rate of power. The ability to provide a better combination of high power and rapid discharge may help engineers tailor the batteries to a broader range of vehicles.
Batteries and capacitors have long occupied independent niches when it comes to storing electricity. Lithium batteries can store a significant amount of energy using chemical processes, but can only supply a low rate of power; capacitors can deliver a lot of power at once by eliminating the difference between two oppositely charged plates, but have low total energy storage.