Electric cars of the future could use his body as a drummer
A recent invention of the Imperial College of London could change the concept we have batteries and electrify the engine of electric cars. The researchers have patented a mixture of carbon fiber and polymer that can store and discharge electricity, so that the bodywork of a car battery could be used.
This technology could change the game in several ways. First, the material could replace lithium ion batteries store energy in hybrid and electric cars in addition to any other appliance. Second, if used in the bodywork of the cars, the material could substantially extend the autonomy of the cars, making them more commercially viable. Third, because of its lightness, this material could be applied to consumer electronics, such as players, laptops and phones.
Not much is known about the energy density of the new material developed at Imperial College. But if sufficient, could divert the path of lithium batteries. It makes sense, because if the car body itself can store electricity, vehicle weight will be much smaller and much greater autonomy. After all, the bulk of the weight and space are the batteries, and if not, look at what the battery pack occupies in a Tesla Roadster …
Electric cars in which they could use the material (assuming that the weight is similar to carbon fiber) would be much lighter than at present. The same toughness and elasticity could be achieved with one quarter the weight. A good storage capacity in a lighter vehicle could travel farther and reach higher speeds, just the three key variables for the adoption of electric cars. If this material could replace the batteries in the Chevy Volt, the car would weigh less than 170 kg.
It sounds important finding. The problem?: The cost. Carbon fiber is much more expensive to produce than steel or aluminum. Titanium is not cheap, but at least it is more abundant. So even if the material meets the expectations (energy density) will not replace the batteries. In any case complement to, in the hoods of cars, for example and still not be cheap.