This article is a really good snapshot of the current battery landscape. It raises a lot of issues associated with current technology and some possible future directions that everyone should be aware of.
The inability of power storage to keep up with new technology frustrates many, especially entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley who bemoan the lack of a Moore’s law for batteries. This is the name given to a 1965 prediction by Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel, that the cost of microchips would continue to fall as the number of transistors crammed onto a given area of silicon would double every 18 months or so. For chipmakers like Intel this turned into a self-propelling prophecy that is—just about—still delivering cheaper computing power. Batteries have improved, but nowhere near the pace of Moore’s law. Most mobile devices and electric cars are now powered by lithium-ion batteries (see box 1). They were commercialised by Sony in the early 1990s and have got steadily better.