In a ceremony on November 6, Japan launched its latest submarine, the Toryu, its second to be equipped with lithium-ion batteries. Japan is the first country to field this game-changing technology in submarines.
So what is the big deal? We are familiar with lithium-ion batteries in our smartphones, laptops and other consumer goods. They have a higher power-density than traditional batteries, and they can be made smaller and in novel shapes which better fit the space given to them. Yet the submarine community has been slow to adopt this technology.