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If it is not the indicated Stack App, let me know, please. I don't really know if this topic is about chemical stuff because of batteries composition or just a electronic energy problem.

I've been having a long conversation with a friend of mine. We both agreed that currently we have sort-of-a bottleneck in energy storage methods. The focus of the conversations were, mostly, electric engine cars.

My friend stated that those batteries have a degenerative cycle, making the batteries degrade after seven or six years. He stated that, for example, if you have a car that goes for 500 km with a full charged battery, you would have less and less each time you fully charge the car. And you would have even more less kilometers as time passes by.

So, we both stated the problem: batteries have a finite life. Not only cars, but almost every existing device that uses them: wearables, laptops, smartphones...

A big doubt we both had, and the main question that goes here, is: are there any alternatives to batteries for these devices? AFAIK there were some graphene studies for storing energy but I really do not know if they were a failure or just a rumor. But the main thing is that we understood, that, in a 10-15 years timespan, all electric engine cars will be down because of the batteries.

I understand also that the most used tech for this are lithium ion batteries with their alternatives, and lithium is not the only method for storing energy but I do not know if there is an alternative with no degrading issues.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Store water in a lake at a height then run it downhill to a turbine. \$\endgroup\$
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 26, 2022 at 7:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ For cars, I have high hopes for hydrogen combustion engines. As a commodity investor it's quite clear that the massive amounts of exotic materials required to produce EV batteries for everyone simply aren't available. Hydrogen could be produced close to nuclear plants and then transported to gas stations by fuel truck much as petrol is now. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26, 2022 at 7:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ e.g., en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_storage . THis question is not sufficiently researched! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26, 2022 at 9:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fuel cells comes to mind, but they have yet to become a viable alternative for commercial purposes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Aug 26, 2022 at 10:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note there are batteries which degrade much slower than others : LFP can offer 4000 charge cycles with acceptable degradation (80% capacity) : about a million miles, and LTO offers many more cycles than that (but lower capacity/kg) So : one answer is, better batteries. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16324
    Aug 26, 2022 at 12:18

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This is a wide topic, and your question does not fully match your title. Although I'm not sure if it fully fits on Electrical Engineering, I guess part of it does.

Some low power devices, such as clocks or sensors could utilize a wide range of energy harvesting methods such as listed in following wiki article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_harvesting#Energy_sources

Same goes for other low power gadgets such as pocket calculators with solar cells. Lately there have also been a development in indoor "solar" cells that can also be used to power low power devices. However, these seldom store large amounts of energy - automatic watch may store some in its mechanical spring, some other might charge a capacitor or a battery, usually Li-Ion, LiPo, other lithium variant or possibly NiMH. It should be noted that mechanical springs or capacitors might actually have much lower cyclic degradation than batteries.

In devices requiring more watts, such as laptops or smartphones I'm not aware of any realistic, existing alternative to different battery chemistries.

When it comes to larger devices such as cars the energy can be stored in different ways. Main alternatives are batteries, combustible fuels and fuel cell fuels such as hydrogen. Some cars also store energy temporarily in rotating wheels (Formula cars). Some other methods are listed in:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_storage

I think the simple answer is that if there existed a good alternative to batteries for most consumer devices, it would already be utilised. Of course, with time research will yield new, better battery chemistries with lower cyclic degradation.

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