Rechargeable batteries are an important way of reducing the waste produced by standard disposable batteries. They power a variety of devices and can be found in many electronic devices, such as; handheld game consoles, toys, portable gadgets, laptops and even cars. Without rechargeable batteries we wouldn’t have the portable lifestyle we are now used to.
Who invented rechargeable batteries?
The oldest type of rechargeable battery is the lead-acid battery. This type of battery is found in most automobiles. They are also used for battery backup systems and to power some types of electric motors. This type of rechargeable battery was invented by French physicist Gaston Planté in 1859.
The nickel-zinc rechargeable battery was invented by Thomas Edison and he was awarded the patent for this type of battery in 1901. He is also credited with introducing the nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery to the United States in 1901, but the inventor of this type of battery was Swedish inventor Waldemar Jungner in 1899. Ironically, these batteries are now prohibited in Europe because of the environmental effects of Cadmium.
The nickel-metal hydride battery was introduced to the market in 1989, but the actual inventor of this technology is unknown. The NiMH battery is commonly used in hybrid and electric vehicles.
The lithium-ion battery was proposed by M.S. Whittingham in the 1970′s and was further developed by various companies before Sony introduced the first commercial li-ion battery in 1991. This type of battery is used in many portable devices.