A team of researchers from the University of Leeds led by Professor Ian Ward has developed a new kind of polymer gel (or jelly) that is likely to be the ideal substitute for the liquid electrolyte currently used in the majority of lithium batteries.
The technology is likely to make lithium batteries more affordable and safer than they currently are. An added benefit is that it will pack more power per unit volume as well as allowing for smaller batteries (or batteries of equal volume but with a higher capacity).
Jelly batteries could also be the breakthrough the electric car industry needs to bring it to a more mainstream market.
Four other advantages of the this technology are; that Jelly batteries will be easier to mould, should not leak even if the enclosure is broken, don't need an internal separator and will prevent so-called thermal runaway when batteries can catch fire.
Speaking to the BBC, Professor Ward explained: "The polymer gel looks like a solid film, but it actually contains about 70% liquid electrolyte," before adding, "the remarkable thing is that we can make the separation between the solid and liquid phase at the point that it hits the electrodes."