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Technology

In race for better batteries, Japan hopes to extend its lead

Tech companies and government team up to hone solid-state technology

TDK's CeraCharge solid-state battery is smaller than a grain of rice. (Photo by Nobuyoshi Shioda)

TOKYO -- Imagine electric cars that can travel 700km to 800km on a single charge, twice as far as they do today. Imagine batteries that are smaller, safer and pack more punch than the lithium-ion cells that power our gadgets now.

Such is the promise of solid-state batteries. Capable of holding more electricity and recharging more quickly than their lithium-ion counterparts, they could do to lithium-ion power cells what transistors did to vacuum tubes: render them obsolete.

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