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Sony Launches Long-Life, Fast-Charging Li-Ion Batteries


Sony Launches Long-Life, Fast-Charging Li-Ion Batteries

Frequent users of rechargeable batteries may want to take a look in Sony's direction, specifically at its latest raft of lithium ion cells which purport to offer significantly improved charging times and lifespan over their predecessors. Okay, batteries might not be as interesting as fuel cells but as we're likely to be using them for a fair while yet, so improvements are always welcome.

The ‘Cylindrical 18650' type batteries are outwardly no different from any others, delivering a 1.1Ah capacity, 3.2V and a maximum 20A continuous draw - in other words, anything using older cells will accept these with nary an issue. On the inside is where the magic has been worked with Sony using an "olivine-type lithium ion phosphate as the cathode material."

Thanks both to the use of this new material and Sony's "proprietary particle design," a 30 minute charge will take the cells to 99 per cent capacity, which Sony says is twice as fast as its existing li-ion battery line-up. 80 per cent capacity retention after an impressive 2,000 discharge cycles is four times better than Sony's existing lithium ion cells.

Shipment of these batteries started in June, presumably to get stock into shops ready for a hard launch so those in the market for long-lasting, quick-charging batteries should see them up for gabs soon.




August 12, 2009, 4:49 pm

sony..uk..new..i daren't imagine the price.


August 12, 2009, 5:36 pm

Wow... I haven't bought rechargeable batteries since the 90s :D Perhaps it's time!


August 12, 2009, 5:48 pm

These look like AA format form the picture. Last time I looked there were no Li-on cells in this format (only the double ones like two AAs stuck together which are too big for my camera). Have those figures been transposed? 3.2V seems high for replacing a 1.5V alkaline battery and NiMH cell capacity is around 2.6-2.8 Ah.


August 12, 2009, 6:32 pm

"20A continuous draw" Erm, you may want to check that figure. :/


August 12, 2009, 6:48 pm

Sweet! Apart from they will cost £1 million each and you can't just put these in any device can you? 3.2v - limited uses?

Martin Daler

August 12, 2009, 7:12 pm


Sony are the ones stating "20A continuous discharge". That would imply you can discharge the battery in a little over three minutes without vapourising it.

They also call it lithium iron phosphate, not lithium ion phosphate.


August 12, 2009, 7:45 pm

18650 batteries are not AA size also they are usually 3.7v


August 12, 2009, 11:15 pm

Does anyone notice that these are laptop battery cells {primarily}?

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