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James Dyson wants to reinvent lithium-ion batteries

By Shawn Knight
Aug 26, 2016
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  1. James Dyson has plenty of reasons to sit around and bask in what he’s accomplished. Having invented the first bagless vacuum and bringing it to market in the early 1980s, the 69-year-old British inventor has since turned out dozens of successful products across multiple markets.

    Last year, for example, his 58 products generated around $2.4 billion in sales with an estimated $340 million in profit – and that’s after Dyson reinvested 46 percent of the company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) back into research and development. As a sound businessman, he also owns 100 percent of his company that’s worth roughly $4.8 billion.

    To say that money isn’t a concern would be the understatement of the century but like many inventors and entrepreneurs, there’s a drive within that simply won’t let him rest on his laurels. As Forbes notes, he is looking to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to develop at least 100 new products by 2020.

    The most interesting of them all, however, has to do with batteries.

    Dyson believes our current rechargeable lithium-ion batteries don’t hold a charge long enough and aren’t all that safe. To help solve these issues, he purchased battery startup Sakti3 last October and is experimenting with solid state lithium-ion batteries that’ll use ceramics. To realize his goal, Dyson is planning to invest $1.4 billion over the next five years which, as the publication notes, is a huge gamble for a company of that size.

    Image courtesy Nadav Kander, Forbes

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,682   +787

    I like the idea that he could improve them, but considering what his vacuum's cost, the price of a single battery would probably go for around $25!!!
     
    p51d007 and Reehahs like this.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,324   +711

    Maybe not. LiOn is already old hat and rapidly being displaced by the superior LiPo cells. If Dyson sees a way to tweak that legacy tech to get closer to the performance and reliability of the new stuff he might be able to squeeze another 5-10 years out of a cheaper standard. Those products would probably sell like mad in the developing world, which is where all the growth markets are (and where the rest of Dyson's high-end wares barely sell at all).
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +530

    I hope he doesn't try to reinvent them but instead, move on to something better.
     
  5. Kotters

    Kotters TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +27

    That said, his vacuum really ****ing works.
     
  6. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    I had to look it up, that is Lithium Polymer, not Lithium Polonium, jeez, couldn't they have added an 'l' or something on there.
     
  7. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 914   +391

    Or he will go on tv and announce to the world his "new" battery, charge twice as much.
    Just like his silly "quiet" fan, vacuum cleaners etc. Snake oil salesman.
     
    Loafer and Uncle Al like this.
  8. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Enthusiast Posts: 38

    Finnaly my cellphone battery will last while I hunt Pokemon till my fingers rot of my hands
     
  9. roberthi

    roberthi TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +11

    I bet a lot of wives will be happy <wink>
     

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