We cover our fair share of battery technology breakthroughs here at Gizmag, from lithium-sulfur batteries to NanoEnergy batteries. But it’s less often that we get to report on new and improved batteries actually hitting the market. So it was nice to learn that Sony has launched a new type of rechargeable Li-ion battery that promises an extended life span more than four times that of existing Li-ion batteries and can be charged to 99 percent of its full capacity in 30 minutes - approximately half the charge time of Sony’s current Li-ion battery line up.

The new batteries use Olivine-type lithium phosphate as a cathode, which Sony says is well suited for the purpose due to its robust crystal structure and stable performance, even at high temperatures. Sony combined this new cathode material with its particle design technology to minimize electrical resistance and deliver a high power density of 1800W/kg and extended life span with the batteries boasting a 80 percent capacity retention after 2,000 charge-discharge cycles.

Since the new batteries are able to charge rapidly and provide a stable discharge of voltage, Sony has decided to initially supply the batteries for use in motor-driven devices such as power tools, but says it will expand their application to a wide range of other mobile electric devices in the future.

Sony began shipping the new batteries in July, so expect some power tools packing the new battery technology to start appearing soon.