In the field of batteries, lithium is king. But a recent development from scientists at the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) may introduce a new competitor to the field.

The researchers have recently developed the first non-corrosive electrolyte for a rechargeable magnesium battery, which could open the door to better batteries for everything from cars to cell phones.

“When magnesium batteries become a reality, they’ll be much smaller than current lithium-ion,” says Rana Mohtadi, principal scientist and ECS patron member through TRINA. “They’ll also be cheaper and much safer.”

Magnesium has long been looked at as a possible alternative to lithium due to its high energy density. However, these batteries have not seen much attention in research and development due to the previously non-existent electrolyte. Now that the electrode has been developed, the researchers believe they will be able to demonstrate the value of this system.