Mercedes-Benz has reportedly created a compostable battery using organic cell chemistry, graphene and a water-based electrolyte. The battery is free of rare-earth and toxic metals, which means it can biodegrade without polluting the environment.

Mercedes-Benz' head of battery tech, Andreas Hintennach, said that while the tech is very promising, "we don't see that it's close to being used in production technology for now... It's around 15-20 years away."

The new batteries can hold more charge than current lithium-ion packs and charge faster to boot, with claims that 0-100 percent charge times can be as low as 15 minutes.

Mercedes' engineers are so confident in the product they allegedly gave a working prototype to a senior Daimler board member to use as compost on his garden.

Hintennach added that Mercedes is working on multiple new battery technologies, despite that being a risk. "You do risk inefficiency by looking at multiple options, and not all will make it to market, but if you didn't take risks in R&D by backing multiple horses, then you could end up losing. We're also keeping the pipeline open for the future."

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