The inventor of the hybrid car battery has died, aged 89. American Stanford Ovshinsky paved the way for low carbon transport by designing the first nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.
The Ni-MH battery is a rechargeable power source used in laptops, mobile phones and other devices including hybrid cars.
Described as the “Edison of our age”, the Michigan-based, self-taught scientist had more than 400 patents to his name, while the hybrid battery is said to have shattered the US Department of Energy’s performance targets for the technology.
Although the firm he founded in 1960 to explore energy conversion technology, Energy Conversion Devices, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, its offshoots have been successful. One called Uni-Solar is reportedly the world’s largest producer of flexible solar panels while another specialising in Ovshinsky’s hybrid batteries, the Ovonic Battery Company, was bought by BASF Corporation earlier this year.