An early model of Boston-Power's new battery pack, which will be available on HP machines next year; the battery is expected to deliver approximately twice the battery life of current models, and recharge in only 30 minutes. It also will run "like new" for three years.  (Source:
The world's largest computer maker enters major deal with green startup

Batteries are one of the most troublesome parts of laptop computers.  Some batteries have been known to overheat, catch fire, and even explode.  However, the worst thing about them is that they are frequently short-lived, with many losing much of their maximum capacity after two years or less.

Green battery maker Boston-Power Inc.  hopes to change that.  Founded in 2005 by a battery technology researcher, Christina Lampe-Önnerud, the company's goal is to deliver lithium ion batteries that will behave "like new" for three years.  These designs will help the environment by reducing battery waste and help save consumers the headache of battery replacements. 

The company is drawing a great deal of interest in the laptop, consumer electronics and hybrid and electric vehicle markets.  It has pulled in $68M USD of investment capital in the last three years to support its research and has expanded to over 500 employees.

Now it has scored its first big contract and is finally seeing the light at the end of the research cycle tunnel.  HP, the world's largest manufacturer of computers, has announced that Boston-Power's Sonata line of batteries will be offered as an upgrade option for some of its notebook models, starting in 2009.

The Sonata-sporting notebooks will be part of HP's Enviro Series program.  They will get a nice boost to a three-year warranty, thanks to the green battery design, which Boston-Power pledges will behave "like new" for three years.  The batteries, according to leaked details will charge in only 30 minutes and will deliver longer running times, offering 4.4 amp hours of power versus the 2.6 amp hours of power of a standard notebook battery.  HP has gone as far as to say its EliteBook notebook model will be able to run for up to 24 hours on an optional ultra-capacity battery.

Preexisting HP computers will also have access to the new batteries as a replacement option.  No systems upgrades are necessary, as they will be compatible with the preexisting battery slots.

The project is the culmination of three years of collaboration, according to jointly released statements.  While financial information on the deal is not lucrative, it is almost certainly a lucrative one for Boston-Power.

Even customers who aren't looking to "shop green" are anticipated to pick the Sonata batteries as an upgrade or replacement, thanks to the improved battery life, faster charge times, reliability, and durability.

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