Why Haven't We Built a Better Battery?

1 919 Shikime 200 mijë

This video was created in partnership with Bill Gates, inspired by his new book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.” Find out more here: gatesnot.es/3qLlFgq
Improving batteries is a tough problem, but it’s also an important one because in many ways the future of our planet also depends on the future of batteries. Luckily, scientists are on the case, figuring out ways to give this essential technology a power-up!
Hosted by: Michael Aranda
SciShow has a spinoff podcast! It's called SciShow Tangents. Check it out at www.scishowtangents.org
Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: www.patreon.com/scishow
Huge thanks go to the following Patreon supporters for helping us keep SciShow free for everyone forever:
Silas Emrys, Charles Copley, Drew Hart, Jeffrey Mckishen, James Knight, Christoph Schwanke, Jacob, Matt Curls, Christopher R Boucher, Eric Jensen, Lehel Kovacs, Adam Brainard, Greg, GrowingViolet, Ash, Laura Sanborn, Sam Lutfi, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, charles george, Alex Hackman, Chris Peters, Kevin Bealer
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook: scishow
Twitter: scishow
Tumblr: scishow.tumblr.com
Instagram: thescishow



  1. SciShow
    13 ditë më parë

    This video was created in partnership with Bill Gates, inspired by his new book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.” Find out more here: gatesnot.es/3qLlFgq

    1. Lord Samich
      Lord Samich
      2 ditë më parë

      "Renewable energy is the future" Your on a show called SciShow. Why do you think you don't need to evidence these claims?

    2. Asher Gape Anima Mundi
      Asher Gape Anima Mundi
      8 ditë më parë

      too slow, not being prioritized

    3. a z
      a z
      9 ditë më parë

      @88marome next joke

    4. 88marome
      11 ditë më parë

      Bill Gates is the most compassionate billionaire in the world.

    5. S. Smith
      S. Smith
      11 ditë më parë

      @Chris Vagarasoto Damnit I see it too... _Tommy with a goatee._

  2. Retro Beast
    Retro Beast
    16 orë më parë

    Bill gates is evil

  3. Curtis Steenbruggen
    Curtis Steenbruggen
    Ditë më parë

    Store energy non electrically. Easy.

  4. I gotta kill something
    I gotta kill something
    Ditë më parë

    I have an idea... Why not use hydrogen, and oxygen based power plants? I mean we can basically recycle the hydrogen, and oxygen as many times as we want. Also, when combined in a certain way it can produce a high explosive out put that can be used to power the power plant. Then you have the by product being water vapor. If I remember correctly the space shuttle used something similar to power itself... Basically rocket powered power plants. Which would be similar to jet powered power plants that some oil rigs use, but minuses the jet fuel.

  5. Siyabonga Patrick
    Siyabonga Patrick
    Ditë më parë

    Age of Electrochemical Combustion

  6. Supportive Person
    Supportive Person
    Ditë më parë

    We have, its just not financially viable

  7. Cody Mintz-Thibault
    Cody Mintz-Thibault
    2 ditë më parë

    Okay, someone smarter than me explain something: For grid level energy storage, why do we need to store electricity? You've got your solar when it's sunny, your wind when it's windy, your hydro when it's flowy... But, instead of storing that excess energy in the form of electrical batteries, why can't we do something else, like pumping water somewhere high up, or melting something and storing the heat energy, and then when it's not sunny or windy, we let the water fall past a turbine, or make steam with our heat energy. I know some places are doing this, but it seems like it's always a flash in the pan news article that gets talked about for 3 minutes, and then we're back to "but we need 1 hundred billion AAA to power our TVs!"

  8. Zachary Bergman
    Zachary Bergman
    2 ditë më parë

    Solid state batteries.

  9. Dariem Pérez
    Dariem Pérez
    2 ditë më parë

    Big lithium batteries are expensive but the Tesla big battery in Hornsdale, South Australia paid itself in 2.5 years. Not bad.

  10. Detre
    3 ditë më parë

    Best solution to our battery problem is Nuclear Power.

  11. Steve O'Brien
    Steve O'Brien
    3 ditë më parë

    What about physical batteries? For example, pumping water up a dam when energy is available, and letting it back down when it’s needed. Or flywheels

  12. A M
    A M
    3 ditë më parë

    I hadn't watched sci-show for a bit but my god it looks like someone inflated Michael.😲

  13. Victor Yau
    Victor Yau
    3 ditë më parë

    Oh, that's what happened to Michael. I got curious why he never vlogs anymore. He went from edgy punk look to a chum looking guy.

  14. Michael Petty
    Michael Petty
    3 ditë më parë

    shoulda partnered with elon musk and not bill gates... What the hell does bill gates know

  15. Azim Alif
    Azim Alif
    3 ditë më parë

    What abut mini wind turbines for night time and cloudy days?

  16. Nick Edds
    Nick Edds
    3 ditë më parë

    nuclear and renewable combo, problem solved

  17. Sokrit lun
    Sokrit lun
    4 ditë më parë

    Renewable is not the future we need nuclear 🤦‍♂️

  18. user98xp
    4 ditë më parë

    Dude is gettin' chompky.

  19. 208xx
    4 ditë më parë

    Surprised that solid state batteries weren't mentioned here.... They are pretty much the future.

  20. x BLACK OCEAN x
    4 ditë më parë

    they have a better battery . we cant have it because they lose money...

  21. Beast Boy
    Beast Boy
    4 ditë më parë

    Bill's got nothing better to do than sell books apparently, as if he needs the money...

  22. Elijah Merritt
    Elijah Merritt
    4 ditë më parë

    We can build towers that store energy by lifting heavy blocks, and delivered it by lowering the blocks. Pretty simple issue, really...

  23. than217
    4 ditë më parë

    Walter: "And now, what shall we use to conduct this beautiful current with, hm? What one particular element comes to mind, hmm?" Jesse: "Ahhhh wire!" Walter: "Copper. It's copper."

  24. Kreeos
    4 ditë më parë

    The answer to the inconsistency of renewable energy is easy: nuclear. It's clean, efficient, and stable.

  25. The Library
    The Library
    5 ditë më parë

    So the answer to the question can be quickly summarized in this Lockstin quote: The Science Just Isn’t There.

  26. coffeehawk
    5 ditë më parë

    Hydrogen is the only viable alternative.

  27. TheNefari
    5 ditë më parë

    Step Number one Buy a Microsoft license :D

  28. Cheesy Wizwiz
    Cheesy Wizwiz
    5 ditë më parë

    The same reason why lightbulbs burn out.

  29. Extreme Kiwi
    Extreme Kiwi
    5 ditë më parë


  30. Gajanan Nigade
    Gajanan Nigade
    5 ditë më parë

    All I hear is : Let's pirate Bill Gates' new book.

  31. g00gly0eyes
    5 ditë më parë

    The ever-evolving Michael Aranda!

  32. Luke
    5 ditë më parë

    This channel is the only one I’ve found that is able to explain complex topics in a way that is understandable by all. Well done, SciShow 👏

  33. Fahad Hossen
    Fahad Hossen
    5 ditë më parë

    Yoooo bro you became fat..!?

  34. Bryan Farrow
    Bryan Farrow
    6 ditë më parë

    Would be better off developing super capacitors.

  35. kuhn008
    6 ditë më parë

    What is the environmental impact of lithium mining and battery disposal?

  36. Rhys Sebastion
    Rhys Sebastion
    6 ditë më parë

    Bill Gates largest farmland owner in the United States so he can offeset carbon emissions in the rest of his 'ownership' portfolio... Scishow is a disgrace for becoming a lapdog to the billionaire club. Disgusting!

  37. Gospel of Thomas 77th Pearl: The Perpetual Tree
    Gospel of Thomas 77th Pearl: The Perpetual Tree
    6 ditë më parë

    I highly recommend the channel ‘The Limiting Factor’ for all things current (pardon pun) on battery.

  38. Frank Swoboda
    Frank Swoboda
    6 ditë më parë

    except for chemistry the cathode is the source of electrons. Only in chemistry specifically batteries. All devices such as cathode ray tubes the cathode is the electron gun. All devices used in the really world, physics world, the cathode is the source of electrons. I wish the chemistry people would get with the program.

  39. Michael Sheridan
    Michael Sheridan
    6 ditë më parë

    Nuclear is the best, solar and wind take way too many substances and heavy metals and are inefficient

  40. Impartial Shift
    Impartial Shift
    6 ditë më parë

    Nuclear fission reactor

  41. ThePoohat
    7 ditë më parë

    hey steven seagal, put down the fork

  42. jay429429
    7 ditë më parë


  43. HappyBeezerStudios - by Lord_Mogul
    HappyBeezerStudios - by Lord_Mogul
    8 ditë më parë

    Batteries don't even have to be chemical. Pumping water uphill or putting gas in pressure tanks and on demand releasing it to drive turbines also works. And for non-movable storage, like when using it to power the grid the size isn't an issue.

  44. Gull Lars
    Gull Lars
    8 ditë më parë

    A good high level description of the problems of improving batteries, but there is a big flaw here in the grid storage usage case. It's true that for phones, laptops and cars, energy density (both per size and weight) along with cost are the main criteria. That's because they need to be mobile power sources. For powerplant or grid storage mobility is not a requirement, and density matters very little. Your bottom line is then $/Wh, with secondary concerns being sufficient charge and discharge speed, cycle efficiency (how much is lost to store the energy and take it back out) and energy retention rates (% lost per unit of time). Physical space near power plants is usually not an issue, and as a better solution distributed grid batteries closer to where the consumption is could also be done on the outskirts of high usage areas, closer than the powerplant would be while still no issues with space. For the economies of scale you need for energy storage at a grid level, there are also non-battery storage solutions like pumped water magazines, compressed air, flywheels, and depending on what time-scale we are talking about even capacitor arrays. There are also other non-litium battery technologies that become potential solutions when density is not a big concern, like flow batteries. All these energy storage options have different trade-offs in up-front costs, maintenance costs, service life, size, cycle efficiency, energy retention, and charge/discharge rates, and what makes sense depends a lot on what your requirements and scale is. As electric vehicle ownership picks up more, vehicle-to-grid is also an important factor to consider. Having thousands of instances of 50-100KWh batteries that can charge/discharge at 5-10KW at places you would typically park a car could let grid operators treat a small portion of their batteries as grid buffers at some small benefit in savings while at no notable inconvenience to the owners. That could be very useful for handling peak grid loads and for soaking up excess renewable production.

  45. Dennis 2
    Dennis 2
    8 ditë më parë

    And yet batteries cause another environmental challenge. :)

  46. science curious
    science curious
    8 ditë më parë

    I'll be glad when you all quit talking about Bill gates

  47. connor beverly
    connor beverly
    8 ditë më parë

    Do a video on liquid metal batteries?

    1. Ken Smith
      Ken Smith
      7 ditë më parë

      Yes, that would be a very good video for them to make. Also the zinc flow battery would be interesting. Both are bigger per unit energy stored but much less expensive.

  48. TetrasodiumXL
    8 ditë më parë

    What about sulfur?

  49. Comehonor Face
    Comehonor Face
    8 ditë më parë

    Stop getting more and more PC it’s gross

  50. Tommy Lee
    Tommy Lee
    8 ditë më parë

    Avoid "Climate Disaster" = Stop being Chicken Little + Stop fantasizing about being a Hero saving Earth from some ambiguous Humanity driven evil. Earths Climate = Continuity of Radical Fluctuation completely nature to Earths highly unique dynamics

    1. Ken Smith
      Ken Smith
      7 ditë më parë

      There is no doubt we are effecting the climate. It comes down to a question of do we care.

  51. Que-Que DTH
    Que-Que DTH
    9 ditë më parë

    OR JUST START USING FRICKING NUCLEAR ENERGY. Its the most clean, safe and effective source of energy

    1. Ken Smith
      Ken Smith
      7 ditë më parë

      So far nuclear has shown its self to be the most expensive. The cost of decommissioning a reactor kills the budget.

  52. Basher Gaming
    Basher Gaming
    9 ditë më parë

    Bill gates is the enemy and if you cannot see that think about the fact he made an antivirus software to fight a virus he himself created and released to get everyone to buy his antivirus software, now he’s imbedded with world health org and “helping create a vaccine”. Don’t trust everything you hear from this guy who is very outspoken about population control.

  53. anonymous
    9 ditë më parë

    Woa chunky boi

  54. anonymous
    9 ditë më parë

    You got alot chonkky and your hairstyle is gone

  55. Joshua Gerlach
    Joshua Gerlach
    9 ditë më parë

    Pumped storage of desalinated water

    1. Ken Smith
      Ken Smith
      7 ditë më parë

      ... or just of fresh water. Pumping water uphill is a good way to store energy.

  56. Tommy Lee
    Tommy Lee
    9 ditë më parë

    Bill Gates = Globalist + One World Government + New World Order Bill Gates = Creator of a Club of Humanity you...we are not welcome to be in

    1. Fateless 32
      Fateless 32
      9 ditë më parë

      Nothing like fearmongering about global unity to prove your stupidity.

  57. Debashish Mishro
    Debashish Mishro
    9 ditë më parë

    Why not a show on bill gates' vaccine results in India?

  58. rikoshi1
    10 ditë më parë

    alfirst.info/load/nI2mqI2absqgi4k/video&ab_channel=FactsVerse why have we not taken what battery inventions we have made and not implemented them?

  59. Diego Tartaglia
    Diego Tartaglia
    10 ditë më parë

    Talk about gravity based batteries!

  60. Marius
    10 ditë më parë

    Wow I've just learned nothing

  61. qazq 665566
    qazq 665566
    10 ditë më parë

    Nobody in the comments is pointing out the fact that you got incredibly fat lately, probably due to the current social norms but it's very unhealthy and dangerous. I sincerely hope you get better soon, You can do it.

  62. fghsgh
    10 ditë më parë

    Two things: First, nuclear power is awesome. No greenhouse emissions, the generated heat can be reused for heating homes, works in all conditions, very safe. Meltdowns are much less of a concern with contemporary safety regulations, and you are more likely to die from installing a single wind turbine than from living near a nuclear power plant your entire life. Nuclear waste can be contained for thousands of years until it is safe, unlike burning coal which spews all all its nasty stuff into the atmosphere. Then, use electric car batteries as back up when the renewable energy sources are not enough. Many electric cars are quite often hooked up to the grid, and they have quite big batteries. They could charge when there is enough electricity on the grid, and discharge when there isn't. As more people get more electric cars, there will be more of these big batteries.

  63. that guy
    that guy
    10 ditë më parë

    Why havent we moved to geo thermal globally? Its everywhere.... It doesnt need wind to work or sun...... It doesnt have off days. Why are we still trying to push tech that isnt long term?

  64. Llwellyn Cuhfwarthen
    Llwellyn Cuhfwarthen
    10 ditë më parë

    While batteries have value and use, application vs other forms of sustainable energy source makes them less viable.. Cost and efficiency wise, nuclear power is much more safe and much more reliable with much much less environmental impact. (environmental impact is not over the next decade, but over the next 200-500 years, our society only looks short term.. thus the belief that Wind and Solar are 'better') The sad offset to nuclear power is.. dangerous byproducts that allow less than desirable people to make incredibly dangerous weapons (dirty bomb etc).

  65. A1 Residence
    A1 Residence
    10 ditë më parë

    is it my eyes or did buddy get bigger

  66. Morgan R
    Morgan R
    10 ditë më parë

    Check out the video from Real Engineering: alfirst.info/load/YYWDY2nKl5V-o4E/video Basically, we have options that are far better than trying to increase the efficiency of Litium-Ion batteries. Lithium-Ion was never designed for huge power banks, it was designed for powering small devices where power density is important. Stationary facilities don't need high energy density, they are far better served by high power per cost efficiency. So a big part of the answer to "Why haven't we built a better battery?" is simply that we're mentally stuck on developing technology to do things that it just is not good at, instead of switching to something that is better for the purpose.

  67. Dixie_rekd
    10 ditë më parë

    wow micheal got thicc since i last watched a scishow with him.

  68. Yu Tub
    Yu Tub
    10 ditë më parë

    fewer humans less greenhouse gases

  69. Joshua Wyatt
    Joshua Wyatt
    10 ditë më parë

    Other types of energy storage should be mentioned. There are areas where the excess renewable energy produced pumps water up a hill to a holding pond. Then recovers energy by letting it flow back down through turbines. We don't have to use literal batteries

  70. Guillermo El Nino
    Guillermo El Nino
    10 ditë më parë

    enjoying that billionaire eugenicists money i see.

  71. Infiltrator2003
    10 ditë më parë

    Bill is an idiot and nobody trusts him any longer over the COVID lies. The main thing you need is someone not making billions on a market "lithium mining" and killing off the competition. So many better batteries for different applications. Do real research. Use solar panels doesn't mean you're creating less greenhouse gases. the amount of energy to mine, manufacture, package, ship and install is tremendous. Then the lifespan of the panels is so short. Solar only helps support the wealthy folks that can afford to install such devices to be more self sustainable for a period of time. While the folks that are mining and manufacturing them live in destitute and are polluting their areas more.

  72. Brandon DeBella
    Brandon DeBella
    10 ditë më parë

    You guys should do video on E-fuels and Hydrogen Turbine Power Plants. We are really really good at creating energy with explosion, creating E-fuels and using hydrogen is so much better for the atmosphere and these are technologies we currently have the ability to use. Looking to the future is great but we have implemented technology we currently have at out finger tips to solve the issuse we are currently facing. To many so called solutions are really just kicking the can down the road

  73. barxracerful
    11 ditë më parë

    Pull Out. Thats the easiest solution to climate change.

  74. Chris Shipman
    Chris Shipman
    11 ditë më parë

    What happens when the solar and wind doesn't work for months?

    1. Fateless 32
      Fateless 32
      9 ditë më parë

      If the sun and or wind stops for months you have bigger issues than energy.

  75. Aerox ⁣
    Aerox ⁣
    11 ditë më parë

    Thanks for the super clear and easy to follow explaination! 🙂👍 Usually I tend to loose focus and having a hard time seeing the connection between each of the parts (I have ADD), but you're one of the few people who can successfully flip the lightswitch in my head 😁💡! [Pen > Pineapple > Apple Pen] [Graphite > Battery > iPhone] ...Pineapples are batteries! 🙂

  76. Chris Shipman
    Chris Shipman
    11 ditë më parë

    Bill Gates? The guy buying massive farms then running a PR campaign to convince everyone to go vegan?

  77. Th3DevelsLettuce
    11 ditë më parë

    4680 cell

  78. Dead Humorous
    Dead Humorous
    11 ditë më parë

    Wouldn’t the best solution to be just convert to nuclear power? Nuclear is green, consistent, and produces greater amounts of energy than fossil fuels.

    1. Dead Humorous
      Dead Humorous
      10 ditë më parë

      @Dixie_rekd what do you mean, Nuclear produces absolutely 0 carbon emissions, and with modern techniques there’s no waste produced.

    2. Dixie_rekd
      10 ditë më parë

      but is incredibly expensive to build a nuclear power plant, its many decades before a nuclear plant even starts to make a profit over its construction costs. also nuclear is NOT green, sure its fairly green compared to fossil fuels but the waste material is impossible to get rid of permanantly.

  79. bazrazin1
    11 ditë më parë

    the o/p of solar panel is dc, how is it transferred to the power grid.

  80. Dread Pirate
    Dread Pirate
    11 ditë më parë

    I think Bill Gates trial experiment to block out the sun to reduce Earths temperature is a forward step in stopping climate disaster. This may be our only hope to stop extinction. Lets hope he is successful. We need more billionaires to step up to the plate and help fund these kind of things to save mankind.

  81. DV7K1
    11 ditë më parë

    Since you first started this show you have slowly gotten fatter and fatter. You used to be hott. Go to the gym!

  82. That Guy
    That Guy
    11 ditë më parë

    Sorry Scishow had to dislike because I hate Bill Gates he is a power hungry freak that must be stopped he is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

  83. cha
    11 ditë më parë

    I like this guy, he's super articulate and interesting

  84. Marcus Boswell
    Marcus Boswell
    11 ditë më parë

    Blah blah blah. I have spent the last decade watching science channels on youtube proclaiming the next big breakthrough in batteries. None have made it to market. Stop beating a dead horse.

  85. Barney Rubble
    Barney Rubble
    11 ditë më parë

    a good battery is good too, you can't fart your way all the way between two planets without electricity!

  86. Barney Rubble
    Barney Rubble
    11 ditë më parë

    so Tesla was a fraud, and those who seek the dollar pad in their wallet, are justified to eliminate free infinite electricity?

  87. Steven Smutko
    Steven Smutko
    11 ditë më parë

    Tesla has already solved the Nickle problem in batteries but no one is talking about there announcement at battery day. Why is that?

  88. Walter Golston
    Walter Golston
    11 ditë më parë

    lithium mining is very hard on the environment. So the real question is who has invested in "Green" products will become even richer while the rest of us get poorer?

  89. Vilhelmo De Okcidento
    Vilhelmo De Okcidento
    11 ditë më parë

    If you want to be "green" or "Eco-conscious" then live in an apartment building and take public transit (or bicycle, walk).

  90. Fredrick Cox
    Fredrick Cox
    11 ditë më parë

    Why dont we just put a gigantic solar array in orbit and wirelessly transmit electricity to the surface

  91. HesZedJim
    11 ditë më parë

    Ah, so iPhone batteries are made with nickel

    11 ditë më parë

    Well, luckily we have a while to "fix" the climate, assuming we refuse to adapt and refuse changing that which is affected by climate change.

  93. deyvis mejia
    deyvis mejia
    11 ditë më parë

    Just noticed we are twins now :D but getting a haircut

  94. Petru Raciula
    Petru Raciula
    11 ditë më parë

    Michael, are you like ... getting buff? You look like you're getting buff, and strong. Me like.

    1. omfg!Strid
      10 ditë më parë

      He’s got that whole daddy vibe now and I can’t manage

    2. TheKingOfFailure
      11 ditë më parë

      Sounds like you've been in quarantine a little too long

  95. John Swanson
    John Swanson
    11 ditë më parë

    The earth is a battery. Energy is free.

  96. Matthew Cooper
    Matthew Cooper
    11 ditë më parë

    Dudes growing that dad bod

  97. Arga-Playz
    11 ditë më parë

    Yeah, great battery's.... how about skipping battery's and make a power genarator that never stops making power so that you can skip the need for storage in off hours (where as it is now low time off power genaration) I would like to see a vid about that!!

  98. Luis de Lago
    Luis de Lago
    11 ditë më parë

    just make hydrogen, no batteries required

  99. Zachariah Stovall
    Zachariah Stovall
    11 ditë më parë

    this dude needs to stop bulking

  100. Janus
    11 ditë më parë

    Bill Gates pushing for Nuclear energy like most billionaires. The reason people think they pushing nuclear so hard is that it would not change the ownership of power. With solar and wind you can personality power your home by yourself. By getting solar panels and batteries for your self and federal power as a backup. The thing I don't like about Bill Gates he can not escape from his capitalist mindset. It why gate foundation push Oxford to sell it patent to AstraZeneca. Instead of providing the patent to the public so the world can make the vaccine for free.

    1. Frank Simard
      Frank Simard
      11 ditë më parë

      It's more complicated then that. You can already go wind or solar but they are intermittent energy. We need controllable energy to substain a electricity network and not only intermittent if you don't want to have occasionnal shutdown. For controllable energy with have hydroelectricity, many type of fossil fuel(coal to natural gas) and nuclear. So if a coutry doesn't have good river and doesn't want nuclear power what do you think they would use if you add just more wind and solar power to the network? You need a pilotable energy where we can control how much energy we produce to match the demand.