A new nanoscale material developed by researchers at Imperial College London could eventually act as both the battery and body of electric cars. The mix of carbon fiber and polymer resin can charge and release electricity like a battery and is hard as steel too.
The advantages of the material are pretty exciting. Lithium-ion batteries are heavy and generate electricity through chemical reactions, which eventually wear down the batteries. The carbon-polymer material is lightweight and doesn't require chemical reactions, meaning both a longer life and quicker charge.
If used in the body of an EV, like the roof, door panels or trunk, in place of a lithium-ion battery, an EV could lose 990 pounds and travel faster and farther. The more surface of the car the material covered, the more charge it could store.
Yes, it will be expensive, but the researchers hope, like with all new technologies, that mass production will bring the cost down.
The European Union is spending $4.6 million over three years to develop the technology and Volvo is considering building a prototype EV using a panel of the material. The researchers expect the material to shave 15 percent off the body weight of a car in five to six years and to be able to replace batteries in 10 years.via Physorg
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