94-year-old John B. Goodenough made the news this week for creating a breakthrough battery that stores triple the energy and is safer than lithium-ion batteries.
John also happens to be the inventor of lithium-ion batteries, which he invented when he was 57 years old – 37 years ago. Today, lithium-ion batteries power all our smart phones, tablets and laptops – as well as electric cars.
His new battery invention will dwarf his first invention, as it will power our future solar powered and electric vehicles, homes and industries. It makes the current lithium-ion technology redundant (including Elon Musk’s brand new $5 billion lithium-ion battery gigafactory).
How do the new batteries work? They’re made of glass electrolytes, which are solid instead of the liquid electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries. They will allow electric cars to go three times the distance, and recharge in minutes instead of hours. They’re also far safer as they won’t explode, and they can operate in sub-zero temperatures with no danger of freezing.
At 94 years old, John still works as a Professor at the University of Texas, and he isn’t finished yet.
John believes humanity has a 30 year window to come up wth an even more powerful “super battery” to take us entirely off fossil fuels, before the environmental damage we are creating becomes irreversible and says:
“I want to solve this problem before my chips are in… I still have time to go.”
So if you’re ever thinking it’s too late to be successful, just remember John B. Goodenough.