Claims Of Revolutionary Batteries Turn Out To Be Unfounded Hype By “Uncritical Media”

Claimed revolutions in battery technology are somewhat symptomatic of how the media work and fail.

Japanese company TDK reports progress in battery technology. The company’s new batteries are said to have an enormous energy density, said to increase by an incredible factor of 100. That would indeed be a sensation; a cell phone would only need to be recharged three times a year. E-cars could cover very long distances. The FAZ (paid article) immediately jumped on this news.

Japanese Apple supplier TDK promises significantly longer battery life for small devices such as headphones, smartwatches and hearing aids thanks to a new battery technology it has developed. The solid-state batteries, for which the company has now announced a technological breakthrough, enable an energy density 100 times higher than the current solid-state batteries from TDK. “We believe that our newly developed material for solid-state batteries can make a significant contribution to the energy transition,” said TDK CEO Noboru Saito.”

No miracle

Apparently the figures were never checked for plausibility. This progress seemed strange to Golem and they searched the original report. The miracle was not a miracle, but even less than batteries from other manufacturers can already achieve.

According to the press release, Cera Charge achieves an energy density of 1,000 Wh/l, which is comparable to other batteries that have been presented with this technology in recent years. Meanwhile, the peak values of Chinese battery technology are around 1,600 Wh/l, not only in research laboratories but also at industrial battery manufacturers, so the claimed hundredfold increase in energy density could not have taken place, at least not in comparison to conventional battery technology. Nevertheless, media such as the FAZ, Handelsblatt and the Association of German Engineers, as well as many others, are uncritically reporting an implausible breakthrough of a mega-material in battery technology.”

4 responses to “Claims Of Revolutionary Batteries Turn Out To Be Unfounded Hype By “Uncritical Media””

  1. Senex

    Careful reading of the press release shows it IS credible – but easily misinterpreted. The key phrase is “enable an energy density 100 times higher than the current solid-state batteries from TDK”.

    Not 100 times greater than other battery technologies, but 100 times better than TDK’s existing solid state batteries. Achieving a 100-fold increase in the density of their own existing product is perfectly feasible if their existing solid state batteries have a low density to begin with. Achieving a 100-fold increase over all other existing battery technologies is highly implausible.

    FAZ, Handelsblatt etc have misinterpreted the press release and overhyped the results.

  2. soundos

    Writing style and information is very good.

  3. voza0db

    A failed tech always needs huge amounts of SOUNDBITES!

  4. Maybe

    Two possibilities. Firstly, maybe it is marketing games. Secondly, maybe there is a technology, for example, nuclear, but it is silenced now. Don’t be stupid and expect to get a super technology easily.

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