Futurology - Physical Technology - Batteries

future

So much of the possibility of the future is reliant on battery technology – smaller, longer lasting, and more powerful. Koomey’s Law states at a fixed computing load, the amount of battery needed will fall by a factor of two every 18 months. This has proven true since 1945.

Battery technology is continually augmented by advances in wind, solar and thermal such that some technology will no longer need a battery but will effectively “self-charge”. Other technologies will become commercially viable as battery technology improves, including electric cars and trucks, drones and robots. Currently these technologies are limited by battery duration and recharge times.

batteries

Electric cars for example can be limited to a range of only 60 kilometres pending traffic conditions and temperature and can currently take hours to recharge. Advances in battery technology seek to increase the range to 750 kilometres, with a five-minute recharge. As technology improves, so does the level of viability and subsequent acceptance and adoption.

Drones carrying 100kgs currently fly 140 kilometres per hour for 30 minutes before needing to recharge.  This is ample for short trips, however extending their flight times to hours once the battery technology support this has the ability to completely change the nature of transporting both goods and humans.

Currently battery size and recharge timing limits the feasibility of electric trucks, however it will be only a matter of time until these are both economically and physically viable.

tesla

It is improvements in battery technology that are expected to lead to advances in transportation, robotics, and mobility, all of which will have flow-on effects to commercial property.

To learn what’s next in the rapid world of technology, contact Tony Crabb, National Director, Research.

Read more of Cushman & Wakefield’s Futurology series, click here.