Tomorrow’s electric cars could eliminate big and bulky battery packs and instead store energy inside lightweight body panels. Volvo has been working on the concept over the past three and a half years in conjunction with other participants as part of a European Union research project headed by London’s Imperial College.
Here, advanced nano-structured batteries and super capacitors are deftly incorporated into carbon fiber panels using an advanced resin that are, in turn, formed to fit around a car’s frame. Just as with a conventional electric car battery, the panels can be fully charged via a power grid or refreshed while en route with energy recovered via braking.
Volvo says the electrified panels charge faster than conventional batteries, and the material is strong and pliant enough to be fully integrated within a vehicle’s structure. It’s said not only to be lighter in weight than today’s batteries, but conventional structural materials as well, and is clamed to be cost effective and eco-friendly to produce.
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