Japanese experts demand change to make phones and laptops safe

The fundamental technology behind the present generation of lithium-ion cells – the batteries that power nearly every laptop computer and mobile phone in the world – is inherently dangerous and must be changed to ensure safety, according to experts.Masataka Wakihara, of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, who advises the Japanese Government on battery safety, told The Times that there must be changes to the way in which batteries are made if they are to be robust enough for everyday use.His warnings were supported by comments from Kuniaki Tatsumi, head of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology’s battery research group, who said that “companies are less cautious about designing batteries with a focus on safety”.

“Battery companies are still learning because the technology is young, but there is a fundamental flaw with the way lithium-ion batteries are currently designed and if the companies genuinely care about safety, they need to completely change their production methods. A lithium-ion battery is quite a dangerous little box of energy,” Professor Wakihara said.

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